Attributed to Robert Joseph Auguste (French, 1723–1805, master 1757)
Height: 6 in. (15.2 cm)
Purchase, Gift of The Hearst Foundation, by exchange; Gift in memory of Frederick P. Victoria; The Metropolitan Museum of Art Volunteer Anniversary Gift; Ralph and Frances DeJur Foundation Gift, 1993
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 552
One of a pair with 1993.334.2, Children with Shellfish and Vegetables. The groups are models for the covers of silver tureens made by Auguste in 1756–57, acquired in 1769 by Christian VI of Denmark and remaining today in the Danish Royal Collection. This group was intended for an oval tureen. Auguste, who received his mastership as a Parisian silversmith in 1757 and became one of the principal silversmiths to the French court, is seen here in the roles of sculptor as well as silversmith. These detailed, deftly modeled terracottas offer rare insights into the working process of eighteenth-century silversmiths; although drawings often survive, their preliminary sketch-models tend not to.
Paul Wallraf , London (until 1983; sale, Sotheby's, London, December 8–9, 1983, no. 302); Ruth Blumka , New York (until 1993; sold to MMA)