Lot N: 0275


Silver holy water stoup in the shape of an angel with a putto holding a shell.

16 x 28.5 x 11 cm

Weight: 2,292 kg. Gilt bronze base. Papal hallmarks and marks of the silversmith Angelo Spinazzi (active 1721-1767).

This rare and elaborate Roman holy water stoup draws inspiration as much from contemporary models as from the most important examples of the 17th-century Baroque statuary and goldsmithing: if on one hand it resembles the almost contemporary creations of Giovanni Giardini, such as the angelic figures that decorate the porphyry and gilt-copper tabernacle (1711) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (H. Honor, “Goldsmiths & Silversmiths”, London 1971, p. 120), on the other hand it recalls the sculptural model of the Berninian and Algardian workshop of the previous century, with similarities that can be found in the comparison with some works by Antonio Raggi (the "Angel with the Column of the Flagellation" of Ponte Sant'Angelo), by Francesco Mochi and Paolo Naldini, as well as with drawings for silverware by Algardi himself. The marks present in several points are identifiable with those of the Roman silversmith, but native of Piacenza, Angelo Spinazzi (1693-post 1767), active since 1721, author of important and refined goldsmith artefacts, especially sacred: among his main works, see for example the reliquary bust of San Francesco di Paola of the Museo Diocesano of Montefortino (1725), the imposing gilt silver ostensory executed in Rome between 1761 and 1762 and preserved at the Alberoni College in Piacenza and the embossed and chiseled silver decoration of the main altar of the Cathedral of Syracuse (1752). However, Spinazzi's clients were not only Italians and his work was requested, together with that of other goldsmiths and silversmiths, for the realization of the so-called "Muta Nobile", a group consisting of a large crucifix and six candlesticks made in Rome by Italian artists for the sumptuous chapel of St. John the Baptist in the church of S. Roque in Lisbon, commissioned in 1742 by King John V of Portugal and financed by the gold of the Portuguese royal possessions in Brazil (Teresa Leonor M. Vale, “Eighteenth-century Roman silver for the chapel of St John the Baptist in the church of S. Roque, Lisbon "in The Burlington Magazine. No. 1289 - Vol 152 (August 2010), pp. 528-535): The group, in gilt silver, it is now kept in the Museu de S. Roque together with other goldsmith artifacts conceived for the chapel and one of the candlesticks, the one representing the "Tranquility", which in some details of the decorations and of the modeling of the figure recalls our holy water stoup, is by Angelo Spinazzi (J. Montagu, “Gold, Silver and Bronze. Metal Sculpture of the Roman Baroque ”, New Haven / London 1996, p. 180 fig. 262). Among the patrons of Spinazzi in Italy there were not only the ecclesiastical authorities but also many patrician families of the Papal State, for which he produced sacred and civil goldsmith works for private use: it is plausible that this type of commission was at the origin of this water stoup, a probably successful model, since at least one other similar example is known, bearing the Borghese coat of arms on the base but without the silversmith's marks, passed in 2003 on the London auction market.

Comparative literature: S. Fornari, "Gli argenti romani", Rome 1968, pp. 147-148;
H. Honour, “Goldsmiths & Silversmiths”, London 1971, p. 120;
C. Bulgari, "Argentieri gemmari e orafi d'Italia", Rome 1980, p. 433;
J. Montagu, “Gold, Silver and Bronze. Metal Sculpture of the Roman Baroque”, New Haven/London 1996, p. 180 fig. 262;
Teresa Leonor M. Vale, “Eighteenth-century Roman silver for the chapel of St John the Baptist in the church of S. Roque, Lisbon” in The Burlington Magazine. No. 1289 - Vol 152 (August 2010), pp. 528-535.

Sold at

Euro 8.000,00


First session 1-86 15/06/21


Second session 87-174 15/06/21


Third session 175-262 16/06/21


Fourth session 263-345 16/06/21



11 - JUNE 14TH