Bust thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery


ca. 1780-90 (made)
Place of origin

Bust of Jupiter Ammon in hard-paste glazed white porcelain. A bearded head with a ram's horns, incised beneath with 'Giove Amone'. On a circular moulded pedestal, picked out with gold lines.

Object details

Object type
Materials and techniques
Hard-paste porcelain, glazed and moulded
Brief description
Bust of Jupiter Ammon in hard-paste porcelain, Doccia porcelain factory, near Florence, ca. 1780-90.
Physical description
Bust of Jupiter Ammon in hard-paste glazed white porcelain. A bearded head with a ram's horns, incised beneath with 'Giove Amone'. On a circular moulded pedestal, picked out with gold lines.
  • Height: 16.8cm
  • Base diameter: 6.9cm
Marks and inscriptions
  • An anchor (In red)
  • 'Giove Amone' (Incised)
Gallery label
BUST OF JUPITER AMMON Porcelain Mark: an anchor, in red ITALY (VENICE, COZZI); about 1790 Gift of Lt.-Col. K. Dingwall D.S.O. C.287-1915 (Label draft attributed to John V. G. Mallet, ca. 1995)(ca. 1995)
Credit line
Presented by Lt. Col. K. Dingwall, DSO with Art Fund support
Subjects depicted
Bibliographic reference
Frescobaldi Malenchini, Livia ed. With Balleri, Rita and Rucellai, Oliva, ‘Amici di Doccia Quaderni, Numero VII, 2013, The Victoria and Albert Museum Collection’, Edizioni Polistampa, Firenze, 2014 pp. 72-73, Cat. 51 51. Bust of Jupiter Ammon on a circular base 1780s hard-paste porcelain with gold trim on the base bust h 10,5 cm; base h 6,5 cm on the back of the bust “Giove.Ammone” impressed under the circular base a red anchor inv. C.287-1915 gift: Lt. Col. K. Dingwall, DSO through The Art Fund Due to the subject that is represented and the presence of the model in terracotta in the Museo di Doccia (inv. 1631) the bust, as we shall see, must be attributed to the Ginori factory, even though the base has the red anchor mark of the Cozzi factory which was active in Venice starting in1763 (STAZZI [1981]). Upon close inspection, the back of the statuette reveals that the two pieces were assembled after firing and therefore, presumably after they were made. The inscription “Giove. Ammone” onthe back of the bust refers to the iconographical representation of the god Jupiter-Ammon. Amun was an Egyptian divinity who, in the Greco- Romanera, was assimilated with Zeus-Jupiter, which is the reason why he is represented with ram’s horns (FERRARI 1999, p. 43). This statuette belongs to a set of others of the same size representing the Caesars, the philosophers, a Vestal Virgin and the divinity Minerva which are all based on antique marble and bronze statues found at the Villadei Papiri in Herculaneum and now in the Archaeological Museum in Naples (CANTILENA, LAROCCA, PANNUTI, SCATOZZA 1989).This series is recorded in the inventory of moulds which is dated around 1791 with notes added in 1806 (AGL, Inventario delle Forme, n. 163, doc. cit. in RONZIO 1997).The models in terracotta that are mentioned in the inventory are almost all in the Museo di Doccia. These busts were used for table settings but their absence from the 1760 price list, Tariffa dei prezzi delle porcellane della Fabbrica di Doccia, among the statuettes defined as “da dessert” suggests that they were acquired by the factory in the 1780s (GINORI LISCI 1963, p. 234, n. 18). This date is also confirmed by the research conducted on the pieces which demonstrated that the models used at Doccia came from the Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea in Naples (RONZIO1997, p. 40). In fact, the bust shave close connections with the archaeological excavations financed by the Bourbons in Campania. Moreover, we know that the Neapolitan factory also manufactured statuettes that were identical in shape and size to those produced at Doccia. A large number of these figures in biscuit porcelain dated around 1790s are displayed in the Porcelain Museum at Palazzo Pitti (A. d’Agliano, in LE PORCELLANE ITALIANE A PALAZZO PITTI 1986, p. 150-169, cat. 149-180). The continuous contacts between the Ginori factory and the Neapolitan factory are extensively documented. In 1774 we know that Lorenzo Ginorimade a trip to Naples to visit the Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea and that the Bourbons returned the courtesy by making a visit to Doccia in 1785 (GINORI LISCI 1963, p. 81). R.B. Bibliography: LANE 1954, plate 27, fig. b; L. Melegati, in BRAMBILLA BRUNI,MELEGATI, ZENONE PADULA 2000, p. 158;MELEGATI 2013, p. 72 (onlymentioned as Cozzi factory)
Accession number

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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