In 1991 a full-size marble version was discovered that was dated 1732 and signed by Piamontini.
This 11in (27cm) high clay model came for sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on September 3 as part of a group of objects from the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres of Balcarres House, Fife. The estate, commanding a view across the Firth of Forth, has been in the Lindsay family since 1595.
Dr Charles Avery, former deputy keeper of the department of sculpture at the V&A, researched and catalogued the piece for sale.
He described it as “an experimental working sketch-model or bozzetto… [with] some ravishing details that clearly reflect modelling by hand with a stylus and the sculptor’s fingers”.
Despite its obvious condition problems (the ‘wounds’ to the neck reveal that the heads would have been solid rather than hollow) it trebled its estimate to sell at £13,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium).