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REF 1171    Ariel On A Bat's Back

Finely detailed Bull's Mouth shell carving, circa 1840, in a high-carat gold granulated Etruscan Revival gold frame. The subject is the mischievous sprite Ariel, after a painting by Joseph Severn [Rome, 1826]. Severn based the image on Shakespeare's The Tempest where the sprite sings :

There I couch while owls do cry, On a bat's back I do fly.

The painting was described thus in Strictures On Pictures [1838] : Merry Ariel lies at ease and whips with gorgeous peacock feather his courser, flapping languidly through the evening sky.'

Severn painted several versions of the subject at the Royal Academy, one version is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, as is a cameo of the subject. This is a particularly fine interpretation - excellent, detailed carving evoking the gossamer wings of the bat, the ethereal peacock feather and conveying a sense of languid movement. The brooch measures 4.5 cm by 5 cm [ 1 and 3/4 inches by 2 inches] and the cameo measures 1 and 1/3 inches by 1 and 1/2 inches].  In its original fitted case and perfect.

sold


ariel1




1668-002

Ariel by Joseph Severn

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