A new beginning for the Old Pretender

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The Independent Online
Bonnie Prince Charlie's death mask (left), which formed the basis for Canova's Vatican statue of the Old Pretender, is to be auctioned - together with "a locket of his facial hair" - at Christie's in Glasgow on 12 June.

The plaster cast was made by the Roman modeller Bernardine Lucheese shortly after the would-be king died, in January 1788. It was commissioned with the intention of helping Canova - a sculptor whose work is said to equal that of the ancient Greeks - who later undertook the magnificent Stuart monument in St Peter's Basilica.

When Lucheese moved from Rome to Glasgow in 1839, he brought the mask with him, and it was subsequently used as the basis for two further sculptures of Prince Charles by Scottish artists.

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