Monday, October 25, 2010

Sculpture of the Week: Statuette of Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden, 1625

Equestrian Statuette of
Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden,
Daniel Lang, 1625-1635
The Royal Collection
King George III seemed to enjoy collecting things.  He amassed a rather substantial collection of unusual and attractive artifacts during his lifetime.  This equestrian statuette is a lovely example of King George’s love of fine art.  Constructed of twenty-nine individual pieces of silver which have been chased, cut or wrought depending on the texture it’s trying to duplicate, this partially gilt sculpture was made in Augsburg between 1625 and 1635 by Daniel Lang and depicts Hapsburg leader Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden. 
What’s most intriguing about this piece is that the horse’s head is removable.  Without its head, an interior cask serves as a drinking vessel, albeit an awkward one.  Though no one’s drinking out of it these days, this sculpture is certainly an attractive piece of art and an interesting glimpse into the kinds of things that King George III liked to have around him.

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