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Title: A Boy with a Bird
Item Name: Sculpture


This item is in the Burton Constable Hall collections and is included on this database by kind permission of the Burton Constable Foundation. 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. Located in the Blue Drawing Room. After Charles-Antoine Bridan (1730-1805)

Year: 1770
Materials: Marble
ID_Number: CHS 1