Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pen, ink and sepia wash
  • 5 ¾ × 6 ½ inches · 146 × 165 mm
  • Extensively inscribed:
    ‘Due para di codeste Urnes.’ (top left)
    ‘Soldi sei di Braccio’ (vertical to the drawing on the right)
    ‘Si richiede il prezzo del paro di queste Urne alzande 6 Soldi di Braccio’ (bottom)
    Brandt collector’s mark verso
    Drawn in 1755
  • Sold


  • Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram, O.B.E., M.C., F.S.A. (1877-1963);
  • Sotheby’s, 21st October 1964, part of lot. 196;
  • Christopher Powney acquired from the above;
  • W A Brandt (1902-1978) acquired from the above on 14th December 1964 [£10];
  • by descent to 2024

This characteristic drawing was made by the sculptor Joseph Wilton during his six-year stay in Italy. Wilton had an unconventional training, studying in Nivelle with Laurent Delvaux and Jean-Baptiste Pigalle in Paris before travelling to Rome. 

In Italy Wilton achieved considerable professional success, winning a gold medal at the Accademia di S. Luca for his Cain Killing Abel in 1750. In Rome Wilton met an important circle of Grand Tour clients receiving commissions for a sequence of major British interiors. Wilton supplied copies of ancient sculptures for Wentworth Woodhouse and Ralph Howard, 1st Viscount Wicklow. In Italy Wilton also met the architect Robert Adam and was evidently alive to the possibility of producing decorative sculpture for the new neo-classical interiors being built in Britain. This small, carefully worked drawing shows the profile of an architectural urn inscribed in Italian with the scale of cost depending on size. The sheet came from an album of Wilton’s drawings that came from the collection of Sir Bruce Ingram and which has subsequently been widely dispersed.