Trajan’s Column – Rome
33″ h., c. 1870
The years around the turn of the 19th century saw the beginnings of production of a range of Roman souvenir architectural models, a market which attracted several skilled artisans. These earliest replicas were produced strictly for those of means – tourists, of course, but also the Roman Church, and municipal dignitaries – who employed them both as mementos and as official gifts.
In this period, highly-worked, often gilt bronze models of Trajan’s Column were very often paired with nearly identically-sized models of the Column of Marcus Aurelius. The model offered here is an interesting recent discovery, appearing very much along the lines of early 19th century Roman ormolu replicas, this was, in fact, produced in Paris, perhaps c. 1870, by that city’s leading foundry of architectural souvenirs – Freres LeBlanc. Thus, for their clients, it was no longer necessary to make the difficult and dangerous trip to Rome in order to possess a terrific souvenir of the Eternal City.