- Museum number
Group of Castor and Pollux, unglazed porcelain, moulded, scantily draped, on a rectangular plinth. In his right hand Castor holds a torch down to a small square altar decorated with rams' heads and pendent floral scrolls. His left arm is raised. Pollux leans on Castor's right shoulder and holds his right hand at waist level. Behind Castor is a small figure of Isis standing on a pedestal.
- Production date
Height: 365 millimetres
Length: 232 millimetres (base)
- Curator's comments
- The group is based on the classical marble sculpture of the first century BC now in the Prado, Madrid, also known as 'The San Ildefonso Group' from an earlier Spanish location. First recorded in 1623, it soon became popular (see Haskell and Penny, 1981, no. 19). Many casts were made form the early 18th century, and this porcelain group was first modelled in miniature by C. G. Juchtzer (1752-1812), chief director of design at the Meissen factory, from a cast in the collection of the painter Raphael Mengs, brought to Dresden from Rome in 1784. The casts were purchased by the Elector of Saxony, Friedrich August III, after Mengs' death in 1783. An engraving by Johann Joachim Friedrich Elsasser of the group with its measurements survives in the Meissen factory archive and is illustrated in T.H. Clarke, "Johann Joachim Friedrich Elsasser's Engravings of the 'Academic' and Marcolini periods, 1785-1792", 'Keramik-Freunde der Schweiz', 103, January 1988, no. 192.
See Haskell & Penny, Taste & the Antique, Yale University Press 1981 for detailed history of classical marble sculpture of 1st century BC.
- On display (G47/dc1)
- The torch in Castor's left hand is missing and the offering bowl in Pollux's right hand is restored.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Sold at Phillips, 25 November 1999, lot 119, hammer price £3,400.
The group was acquired with money from the Woodward Fund.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number