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Pair of Firedog Bases

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Pair of Firedog Bases

ca. 1530s

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904

Item description: 

These sphinxlike female figures, which originally would have been connected by a central section, appear to be the work of an Italian sculptor active in Venice or Padua during the 1530s. Such bronzes served as functional objects, meant to hold fireplace utensils; their exact origins often remain unknown.