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Pair of chased gilt bronze taper-form vases


Paris, Empire period, circa 1810


The tapering form of these chased gilt bronze vases is reminiscent of that of antique amphorae. Their bellies are decorated with applied palmette and leaf motifs, as well as bands of rosettes; the scrolling leaf-wrapped handles terminate in eagles with outstretched wings. Each vase rests on a flared foot set on a platform, which in turn rests on a rectangular plinth with applied ewer and mask motifs, raised on bases adorned with chased leaf friezes.

The design of this pair of vases relates to that of certain flambeaux made in Paris during the early Empire period. A comparable piece, one of a pair of candlesticks, is today in the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs (illustrated in L. Metman, Le musée des Arts décoratifs, Le métal, Le bronze, 2ème Album: du milieu du XVIIIe siècle au milieu du XIXe siècle, Paris, (undated, but circa 1910), plate CLVIII, fig. 1473). An identical pair of vases was sold by Rudolf Lepke in Berlin on February 13, 1929, lot 354, at a time when Lepke was offering numerous pieces formerly in the Russian Imperial collections.