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Pair of Firedog Bases
Italy, ca. 1530s
Bronze
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904; AZ024.1-2
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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.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.