Frieze with Two Putti Bearing a Shield

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Italian School
15th century
Pietra serena (gray sandstone)
96 x 12 x 3/4 inches
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan, ca. 1904-5.

This lintel fragment is embedded in a modern surround in the fireplace of Pierpont Morgan's study. Other examples of this frieze with two putti flanking a shield exist, including one in the Bardini Museum, Florence. It is unclear whether the carving was done by a Renaissance artist or if it is a modern evocation of a Renaissance motif. Morgan acquired the lintel along with the elements for all three fireplaces in his Library during its construction, ca. 1904-5, via the dealer Stefano Bardini in Florence.
Formerly attributed to Francesco di Simone Ferrucci (1437-1493)
Length: 96 inches (maximum with later fill), 74 1/2 inches (historic gray sandstone at greatest length).

Stefano Bardini, Florence; acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan ca. 1904-5.