Collection / Paintings & Screens


The Lartington Hall Carved Boiserie Panels By Signor Anton Leone Bulletti

The Lartington Hall Carved Boiserie Panels By Signor Anton Leone Bulletti

Dimensions (each panel): H: 114 in / 290 cm  |  W: 35 in / 89 cm

PRICE: £95,000


The Lartington Hall Carved Pair of Boiserie Panels
By Signor Anton Leone Bulletti

A highly important pair carved and patinated wood panels commissioned by Monsignor Thomas Edward Witham for the Grand Foyer of Lartington Hall, County Durham.

Each panel with applied carving in high relief from American pine, of faultless execution and detail, the designs of which survive in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The designs showcased within a patinated carved stiff-leaf border derived from the Temple of Athena Polias, each highly carved panel in sharp contrast to a cream-coloured background. While previously compared with the work of Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo, contemporary accounts correctly identify the inspiration as Michelangelo’s designs for the ceiling in the Laurentian Library completed under the patronage of the Medici Pope Clement VII (from The Builder, 1863).

The pair illustrating Ceres within a temple. The Roman Goddess of Harvest presented alongside her wheat sheaf and holding a sickle; surrounded by a plethora of foliate arabesques cascading all around her.
Anglo-Italian, dated 1864.

Commissioned by Monsignor Thomas Edward Witham, Lartington Hall, County Durham, from the Artist; thence by descent to his grandnephew Francis Silvertop of Minsteracres
[…]; Private Collection of Sir William Whitfield, St Helen Hall, Auckland, since 1970s
His Sale; March 2020
Private collection, UK, acquired at the above sale, to present

Anton Leone Bulletti

Anton Leone Bulletti (c.1824-1885) was a Tuscan carver who spent the majority of his working life in England. Initially working in Florence, he was invited by the Duke of Northumberland in 1855 to come to Alnwick Castle and design its decorative furnishings (fig. ). Rather than shipping the completed carvings from Italy, Bulletti saw an opportunity to create a school focused on Italian carving at Alnwick. With Signor Bulletti at its helm, the carving school and studio was able to teach local craftsmen from London, Newcastle, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Glasgow the intricate style of Italian carving.

The work at Alnwick was incredibly time-consuming, even with a team of British craftsmen at his disposal. Upon completing the work for the Duke of Northumberland in 1860, Bulletti set up a studio in Newcastle where he practised and taught as an artist, designer, gilder, sculptor and woodcarver, until 1878.

One of this first major commissions was in 1863 for the decorative works at Lartington Hall, which are described in greater detail below. Bulletti left Newcastle for London in 1879, where he became chief instructor at the newly founded School of Art Wood-Carving in South Kensington. He retired in 1882.

REF No. 9431

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