Set of six Grand Tour spelter medallions, each a bas-relief portrait of a Roman emperor or emperor's wife.
Italy c. 1850
3.5 " diameter
PRICE: $750 set
Condition: Fair condition. The frames are painted spelter and some are dented and/or chipped, as visible in the photos. Note the repaired hanging ring in the lower right medallion, Calpurnia.
These decorative medallions were probably made in Rome in the middle of the 19th century for the tourist trade. While made of spelter, or white metal, they're beautifully cast, suggesting there were more expensive bronze versions available. The inclusion of some fairly obscure rulers suggests this was originally a very large set.
Note the typographical error in the lower right hand medallion. "Calpurnia" is written "Calfunia". It nearly confirms they were made for the tourist trade. It's hard to imagine an error like this going uncorrected if they were made for the domestic market.