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Title: A boy with a bird
Item Name: Country House Sculpture
Maker: Catlyn, William


Marble statue after Charles-Antoine Bridan (1730-1805). At Burton Constable Hall. The Boy with a Bird and the Girl with a Bird’s Nest were both acquired in Italy by William Constable during his Grand Tour. They were shipped home in December 1771 when they were described in the accompanying documentation as: ‘a Girl copy in Marble from the Antique’ and ‘a Boy D[itt]o’. As William was undoubtedly familiar with the original figures in the Villa Borghese in Rome, we can safely assume that he believed he was acquiring copies of two genuine Antique figures. However, this was not the case. Of the originals in the Villa Borghese, only the Boy holding a Bird is a genuine (albeit heavily restored) Antique. The Girl with a Bird’s Nest was created by Charles Antoine Bridan in the mid-18th century in order to provide a pendant or companion for the Boy. Within a few years, both figures were passed off as works derived from the Antique. Constable was evidently enamoured of this pair as he not only acquired the figures by Bridan but also ordered a pair of reduced-scale plasters by Cavaceppi. Blue Drawing Room. Database created by Dr. Gerardine Mulcahy, Art Gallery Curator; information/images transferred to Mimsy XG in 2009/10 for use in Mobius website. Actual object not part of our collections.

Year: 1770(c)
Materials: digital image
ID_Number: CH Sculpture 1