Wednesday 27 September 2023

Lot 477

An Italian polychrome lava stone and pietre dure panel, attributed to Giovanni Battista Cali,...

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Lot 477

An Italian polychrome lava stone and pietre dure panel, attributed to Giovanni Battista Cali,...

Price Realised: £23,616

Estimate: £6,000 - £10,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 477


An Italian polychrome lava stone and pietre dure panel, attributed to Giovanni Battista Cali, documented Catania 1831-1837, the centre probably depicting the Hesiodic Cyclopes, the brothers Arges, Brontes, Steropes forging the thunderbolt of Zeus, flanked on the left by a view of Mount Etna with Catania cathedral and with the Cyclopean Isles to the right, set in a late 19th century associated oak table, with carved frieze, on fluted legs and castors, joined by stretchers, 74cm high, 85cm wide, 63cm deep

Provenance: UK Private Collection since 1910.

Note: The Catanese artist Giovanni Battista Cali came from a family of sculptors and is known to have produced mosaics mainly with views of Vesuvius and Etna. There is very little information on this maker other than that he was Sicilian and active in Naples in the second half of the 19th century and came from a family of sculptors. He was asked to produce works for the church of San Nicolò l' Arena in Catania and for the cathedral of Acireale. Rare signed examples by this maker are in the Museum of San Martino, Villa Rosebery and the Royal Palace in Naples. It is not possible to ascertain if the current lot is signed as it is set into a later oak table.

Cali was the innovator of the use of lavic stone in his compositions. The Sicilian scientist Giuseppe Alessi was impressed by the works of Cali, writing thus  "...the peridot crystals...mixed with the Etnea lava .., provided a beautiful material for their craftsman...".

A marble and pietre dure panel signed by Cali and dated 1886, with a scene of the eruption of Mount Etna, Da una Dimora di Palazzo Farnese, sold Sotheby's, Milan,18 May 2004, lot 240.  Another example centred with a view of the port of Catania, in the background Mount Etna erupting, on the right the city of Acireale and with Motta San' Anastasia with a similar border sold Sotheby’s, London, 27 April 2010, lot 74, £15,000.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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