H x W x D: 19 in. / 10.5 in. / 7.5 in.
Gift of Admiral Charles Griffin
From ca. 1968-1996 (possibly): The Army and Navy Club, gift of Admiral Charles Griffin
The Alpini are an elite mountain warfare military corps of the Italian Army. Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world. Their original mission was to protect Italy's northern mountain border with France and Austria. They emerged during World War I as they fought a three-year campaign on the Alps against Austro-Hungarian Kaiserjäger and the German Alpenkorps in what has since become known as the "War in snow and ice." During World War II, the Alpini fought alongside the Axis forces, mainly across the Eastern Front and in the Balkans Campaigns.
There are four other sculptures similar to this one in the collection of The Army and Navy Club (accession numbers 1966.01-1966.05), each one representing a different type of soldier in the Royal Italian Army from the 19th century. They were owned by Charles Griffin and gifted by him to the Club. Admiral Charles Griffin USN was a member of The Army and Navy Club in his retirement (retired 1968).