Grand Tour carved miniature after the Antique. Model of Scipio’s Tomb carved in Siena marble, with removable cover for use as a desk accessory.
In the 18th and early 19th century, wealthy young Englishmen embarked on lengthy travels to the Continent, known as the Grand Tour. The voyage was meant to round out one’s education, with an emphasis on Classical arts and architecture, languages, history, literature, and philosophy. Grand Tourists bought souvenir buildings or ruins in bronze, alabaster, and marble – “objet d’art” created by Italian craftspeople – as keepsakes of their travels. These souvenirs celebrate the Classical world, while also referencing the cultural phenomenon that was the Grand Tour.