Today’s Flora & Fauna catalogue highlight is this rare pair of candlesticks by Cantagalli. The candlesticks are modeled as wyverns, which are winged two-legged dragons with a barbed tail, and decorated in a lustre glaze of red on white. The candlesticks feature Cantigalli marks to the base.
These candlesticks were previously with The Fine Art Society, London.
The wyvern is a legendary creature with a dragon’s head and reptilian body with wings, two legs, and a tail with an arrow-shaped tip. The wyvern may be the origin of the red dragon of Wales.
Ulisse Cantagalli ran his family’s Florentine ceramic factory in the late 19th century and produced pieces in the Renaissance style. He gained international renown among collectors of his day, including attracting attention from the New York Times in an article entitled ‘The Making of Majolica’ in 1879. Today Cantagalli wares can be seen in international museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Bargello in Florence.