Pair of Chased Gilt and Patinated Bronze Vases with Lids Forming Candlesticks
Paris, late Empire period, circa 1815
These Medicis-form vases in chased, gilt and patinated bronze, have bellies decorated with leaf friezes; their lower portion is adorned with large stylised leaves; they have flaring stems. Their necks feature finely chased friezes and round lids with leaf finials, which when reversed reveal nozzles and drip pans with palmette friezes, making up candlesticks. The gilt bronze bases with curved moulding rest upon rectangular patinated bronze plinths placed on gilt bronze bases decorated with stylised leaf friezes.
This pair of vases typifies the art of the Parisian bronziers of the Empire period, who perpetuated the ingenious and playful design of certain objects and furnishings, created during the previous century. There are several known objects whose lids could be turned into candleholders, among them: a pair with handles in the form of horses’ heads, formerly in the Flensburg collection (Bruun Rasmussen sale, October 29-31, 1997, lot 70); a second pair, with elephant head handles, is in the François Duesberg Museum in Mons (illustrated in Musée François Duesberg, Arts décoratifs 1775-1825, Pendules à sujets exotiques et bronzes dorés français, undated, p. 10).