A Pair of Northern European Wooden Etruscan Vases

In painted pine of half-round form designed to be wall-mounted, Probably Scandinavian, Circa 1820

Height: 20 in. (50.5 cm)
Width: 7 ¾ in. (20 cm)
Depth: 4 in. (10.5 cm)

The ‘Etruscan’ style developed as a distinct strain of the European neoclassical movement of the late 18th century. Interest in the furnishings, colour schemes and mural decoration of Ancient Roman dwellings was revived by the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii beginning in 1738, and prompted among other things a fashion for collecting excavated red and black figure vases, produced mainly in Ancient Greece but also by the Etruscans in Italy and popularly called ‘Etruscan Vases’ at the time. The most notable collector was Sir William Hamilton, British Envoy to Naples from 1764-1800, who acquired over 700 vases which were sold to the British Museum in 1772 and widely known through the engraved reproductions published in 1766-67 by the Baron d’Hancarville in Antiquités étrusques, grecques et romaines tirées du cabinet de M. Hamilton. Hamilton continued collecting vases after this sale, and his later acquisitions were recorded by the German painter Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein in his Collection of Engravings from Ancient Vases (1795-1803). Both these publications made a significant contribution to the dissemination of Ancient Greek taste and sparked a vogue for creating ‘Etruscan’ interiors throughout Europe that lasted well into the 19th century, particularly in England, Germany and Scandinavia.