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Relief - Portrait of a Lady
  • Portrait of a Lady
    Unknown Abondio, Antonio, born 1538 - died 1591
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Portrait of a Lady

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Lombardy (made)

  • Date:

    16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Abondio, Antonio, born 1538 - died 1591 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wax on glass

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This wax portrait depicts a lady and is made in the style of Antonio Abondio.
Abondio (1538-1596) and Leone Leoni were the only Italian medallists to be highly successful as court medallists north of the Alps. His eclectic style reflects Italian, German and Netherlandish sources. He was influenced by the Venetian Alessandro Vittoria and earlier by Alfonson Ruspagiari and the school of wax modellers and medallists centered on Reggio Emilia.

Physical description

Coloured wax on glass. Profile bust to the right. The sitter wears a veil, painted on the black glass ground, at the back of her elaborately dressed hair and an earring represented by a seed pearl. The shoulders of her dress are pink, and her high collar is black and gold with a white ruff. The gilded oval metal surround is set in an octagonal frame inlaid with coloured marble.

On the back of the frame is a manuscript label, apparently dating from the first half of the 19th century, which reads: 'Portrait of a great Personage in coloured wax bought at Sir W. Hamilton's Sale 1..2 R.C.'

Place of Origin

Lombardy (made)


16th century (made)


Abondio, Antonio, born 1538 - died 1591 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Wax on glass

Marks and inscriptions

'Portrait of a great Personage in coloured wax bought at Sir W. Hamilton's Sale 1..2 R.C.'
Label; On the back of the frame


Height: 5.6 cm with frame, Height: 4.8 cm without frame

Object history note

A statement made at the time of acquisition by Mr S.P. Chamberlain, by whom the relief was sold to Salting, indicates that the relief was originally in another frame with a label recording that it was bought by Sir William Holland at the sale of the Duke of Sussex.

Descriptive line

Relief, wax on glass, a lady, in the style of Antonio Abondio, Italy (Lombardy), 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 84
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume II: Text. Sixteenth to Twentieth Century. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, pp. 559, 60

Production Note

In the syle of Antonio Abondio (ca. 1538-1691).


Wax; Glass; Pearl


Sculpture; Portraits; Reliefs


Sculpture Collection

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