A Grand Tour equestrian bronze of Marcus Aurelius, after HopfgartenA Grand Tour equestrian bronze of Marcus Aurelius, after Hopfgarten

A Grand Tour equestrian bronze of Marcus Aurelius, after Hopfgarten


Circa 1860




Height 25 inches Length 15 inches Width 7 ¼ inches

Please note that shipping costs are supplied upon purchase.


A Grand Tour equestrian bronze of Marcus Aurelius, after Hopfgarten, after the antique, shown astride a prancing horse with no reins and a Sarmatian saddlecloth with no stirrups, his right hand outstretched, raised on a shaped mahogany plinth inset with bas relief panels showing classical maidens.  Italian, circa 1860.

Footnote: This bronze is a particularly fine reduction of the Roman original which is displayed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini in Rome. The original sculpture, one of a very small number of surviving images of the emperor, was erected in 175 AD.  The German-born Wilhelm Hopfgarten (1779-1860) started a bronze foundry and sculpture studio in Rome in 1805 with his compatriot Benjamin Ludwig Jollage. Their bronzes were highly sought after by Grand Tourists and they cast for famed artists, including Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Related literature:

C. Teolato, Hopfgarten and Jollage Rediscovered: Two Berlin Bronzists in Napoleonic and Restoration Rome,Rome, 2016.

Provenance:  The Berry Family, Viscounts Kemsley, related by marriage to the Dukes of Wellington

The Berry Family, Viscounts Kemsley

Born in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, Sir James Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley, and his two brothers Henry, 1st Baron Buckland and William, 1st Viscount Camrose, made a formidable trio.  James and William were both newspaper barons whilst Henry made his fortune as an industrialist. Together the brothers were part of the wave of extremely rich and successful entrepreneurs who began to take over from the “old money” aristocratic families during the social upheaval caused by the world wars and economic changes affecting Europe during the first half of the 20th century.

Sir James Gomer Berry founded Kemsley Newspapers, a company which at one point owned The Sunday Times, The Daily Sketch and The Sunday Graphic.  Berry himself also co-owned The Daily Telegraph with his brother William. This domination of the British print media by one family was unprecedented up to this point, especially as Berry would later become chairman of Reuters News Agency in 1951, further cementing his grip.

As one might expect, Berry became something of a society figure, his wealth opening many doors for him. One of his passions was sailing and in 1935 he purchased the M. Y. Princess, a motor yacht built in 1924 for Sir James Knott by the Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

Later in the 20th century, the Berry family became linked to the Wellesley family by marriage and it is through this line that the Berrys were able to inherit various important and interesting relics relating to the Duke of Wellington.

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