An extremely rare Tournai figural bust of Venus
An extremely rare Tournai figural bust of Venus, modelled, probably by Joseph Willems. She wears a triple strand of pearls at the throat and a further pearl ornament hangs at her breast, supported on a pedestal base moulded at the front with a palm leaf, with contemporary gilt metal mounts.
This classical figure would appear to be allegorical of beauty and therefore the Goddess Venus, the pearls that she wears are symbolic of beauty and are close attributes of the Goddess, as both were born of the sea and shells. The palm leaf at the front of the pedestal symbolises the ultimate triumph of Love placed as it is with Venus herself. The appearance of the face is very close to the style of modelling on terracotta figures signed by Joseph Willems.
Private English Collection; John Hewett, Antiquarian.
Height including base: 7¼ ins. (18.5 cms.)
Item No. 922