PIETRO PAOLETTI (1801-1847)
AN EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF GRAND TOUR PLASTER INTAGLIOS
Early 19th Century
'Grand Tour' plaster cast medallions, housed in ten volumes of faux-book boxes, each with marbled covers and gilt-tooled leather bindings, each volume enclosing two compartments with an assortment of plaster casts of engraved cameos, sculptures, and monuments with hand inscribed catalogue of contents to front and back inside covers, spines marked "Paoletti Impronte" with various further captions below: Museo Capitolino, Museo di Firenze e Parigi , Museo di Napoli Albani e Sommariva , Museo Vaticano, Opere di Canova , Opere di Gibson , Opere di Thorwaldsen, and, Opere di Vari Autori, 3 vol.; together 10 vols.
Footnote: Note: The Paoletti firm advertised themselves in Count Hawks Le Grice's guide Walks though the Studii of the Sculptors at Rome (1841) as follows: Paoletti begs to inform the public that he has arranged a collection of impressions (Impronte in Scajola) of many of the works in sculpture executed by distinguished artists ... Although the Impronte are but miniature copies; yet they exhibit all the fidelity and beauty of the original, and convey to the eye a better idea of sculpted works of art than the most finished engravings. The Paolettis, whose studio was located on the Piazza di Spagna in Rome until 1847, enjoyed a stellar reputation, and counted among their clients Catherine the Great of Russia and Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. The firm continued to do business after the death of Pietro until at least 1865. The current lot dates from the lifetime of Pietro, as shown by the inscription in a few of the volumes: 'Si fanno in Roma da Pietro Paoletti, dimorante di Studio in Piazza di Spagna num˚ 49'. Examples of the Paolettis' casts are conserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut.
Ten volumes of Paoletti’s cameos sold at Bonhams, New York, Fine Furniture, Silver, Decorative Arts & Clocks Sale, 4 March 2015, lot 1283 for $50,000.