A VENETIAN CARVED FRUITWOOD FIGURE OF A RENAISSANCE PAGE BOY
BY VALENTINO PANCIERA BESAREL (ITALIAN 1829-1902)
the standing figure holding a tray, decorated with an armorial device, his doublet finely carved with strapwork and with detailed relief chainmail, his belt hung with a small bag, his shoes realistically carved to imitate leather, the circular base signed 'V. Besarel Venezia', standing on an ebonised plinth with painted panels to imitate marble and porphyry
Valentino Panciera, known as Besarel, was born in Zoldo near Belluno on 29th July 1829. He belonged to a family of carvers and carpenters but his style was heavily influenced by the 17th century sculptor Andrea Brustolon. During the 1860s he established his workshop in Venice on the Grand Canal. He soon became famous for creating exquisite sculpture and furniture for wealthy clients, even royalty, Edward, Prince of Wales was a known patron. At the age of fifty-six, through carelessness he cut off the fingers of his right hand. However, with his strong willpower and the use of prosthesis he continued to work. In 1878 he exhibited at the Paris Universelle Exposition where he won a gold medal. He died in Venice in 1902.