Perhaps modelled by Giuseppe Bruschi
Tin-glazed porcelain, masso bastardo
Circa 1765-70
18.8 high, 26.0 wide, 19.8 deep

The lutanist and flautist seated on a gilt baroque canapé or divano with the violinist standing behind, beside a richly gilt music stand formed as a blindfolded putto, a small dog to one side. Supported on an elaborate rococo foliate pierced base.

This unrecorded group of a courtly musical trio is unusually elaborate and finely decorated, the care taken over the painting and the richness of the gilding is exceptional.

From June to November 1763 Lorenzo Ginori, now the owner of the factory, sent the sculptor and modeler, Giuseppe Bruschi (the nephew of the earlier sculptor Gaspero Bruschi), to Parma to study and copy the French and German models owned by Philip Duke of Parma and Infante of Spain (1720 – 1770). From this period taste at Doccia moved away from the baroque sculpture based on antique models that had characterised the factory and gave way to the new rococo models inspired by Meissen and Sèvres.[i]

The glaze is opacified with tin oxide, the so-called masso Bastardo which was introduced to improve the appearance of the porcelain at some time towards the end of Carlo Ginori’s (1702 – 1757) life.[ii]

In spite of the elaborate struts concealed underneath they clearly had great difficulty in firing such a complex group, which has resulted in firing cracks that were filled with paste and glaze during manufacture.

We are grateful to Jóhannes Ágústsson for the suggestion that the lute held by the lady is perhaps a 5-course mandore.

Original firing cracks have been stabilised.

Tip of the flute and head of lute restored. Neck of violin missing and little finger of violinist restored. Bow of violinist missing. Ladies head restuck, section of ribbon lacking to her headdress. Restoration to firing crack across the ladies dress. Restoration to firing crack on the back of violinist’s right leg. Original firing cracks to base.

[i] Biancalana 2023, p. 138.

[ii] For a detailed discussion on masso Bastardo see Biancalana 2023, pp. 129 -130.


Robert Compton Jones Collection


Biancalana 2023
Alessandro Biancalana, Porcellane Ginori a Doccia, La stanza delle meraviglie di casa Colli, (Chimera Editore 2023)

Price: £22,000