Venetian Blackamoors Pair
- Item No.
Two blackmoors bear cushioned scallop shells in this exceptional pair of Italian jardinières
- These exceptional Italian jardinières take the form of beautifully detailed blackamoors
- Intricately ebonized, hand-painted and parcel-gilded
- Circa 1850
- 79" high
This exceptional and rare pair of blackamoor jardinières is comprised of two striking figures, each supporting a cushioned scallop shell on his back. Expertly carved of wood and immensely detailed, these jardinières are beautifully ebonized, hand-painted and parcel-gilded. A very similar pair was formerly in the collection of Marcelo Fernandez Anchorena, Esquire, scion of a wealthy Franco-Argentinean family. Blackamoors, often referred to as Moretto or Moor's head, represent the historic emblem of Venice, dating from the medieval European period, when Saracen pirates plagued the coast of Dalmatia. The earliest blackamoor figures were carved in Venice after the defeat of the Turks in the late 17th century. Their image was first believed to have talismanic purposes, and has been used in heraldry, jewelry, and the decorative arts for centuries. Their popularity grew throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and these striking pieces became an essential part of elegant décor in well-appointed homes. To find such a large pair of these figures, in such excellent condition, is indeed extraordinary.