search icon

Époques: Empire

  • Manière
    Charles-Guillaume Hautemanière (?-1834)

    Rare Matte Gilt Bronze Desk Regulator with Perpetual Calendar

    Regulateur030-03_HD_WEB

    Charles-Guillaume Hautemanière, known as Manière

    Paris, Empire period, circa 1805-1810

    Height43.5 Width24.5 Depth15.5

    The round white enamel dial, signed “Manière à Paris”, indicates the Roman numeral hours, the Arabic numeral fifteen-minute intervals, the date, the days of the week along with their respective astrological signs, and the months, by means of five hands, two of which are in pierced gilt bronze and three of which are in blued steel. The hour and half hour striking movement has a compensated bimetallic pendulum has a heavy round bob that improves the precision of the movement. The neoclassical architectural case has glazed sides. The slightly protruding cornice is adorned with a stylized waterleaf frieze; it supports a molded entablature and rests on four fluted pillars with molded capitals and bases. It is adorned with cut-out panels: on the façade, two winged horses whose scaly tails are wrapped around branches with a central motif featuring a flower that is flanked by scrolls, and on the sides, framed arches with putti musicians. The dial surmounts a delicate drapery which issues an arabesque motif with palmettes and volutes and is framed by figures of Fame playing the trumpet. The rectangular terrace is centered by an oval motif with radiating fluting. The quadrangular base with protruding corners is adorned with applied lozenges, facing griffons with acanthus leaf tails, round mascarons with petal borders and a molded plinth.

    The unusual composition of the present rare desk regulator was inspired by certain clocks that were made in Paris during the last two decades of the 18th century. However its architectural design, in the form of an Arc de Triomphe, bears testimony to the Emperor’s influence on the decorative arts of the time and his desire to commemorate the victories of the Grande Armée. Among the small number of comparable clocks known today, one example, made by “Lepaute à Paris 1807”, is in the collection of the Mobilier National in Paris (shown in M-F. Dupuy-Baylet, Pendule du Mobilier national 1800-1870, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2006, p. 91, catalogue n° 35). A second clock is on display in the Château of  Fontainebleau (see J-P. Samoyault, Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau, Catalogue des collections de mobilier, 1. Pendules et bronzes d’ameublement entrés sous le Premier Empire, RMN, Paris, 1989, p. 69, catalogue n° 32). There are two further clocks that are identical to the present one: the first, whose dial is signed “Thiéry à Paris”, is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, 1997, p. 373. The second, whose dial is signed “Laguesse à Paris” and which is surmounted by an allegorical figure, was formerly in the collection of “Au Balancier de Cristal” (illustrated in Tardy, La pendule française, 2ème Partie : Du Louis XVI à nos jours, Paris, 1974, p. 397).

    Charles-Guillaume Hautemanière (? - 1834)

    Charles-Guillaume Hautemanière, known as Manière (mort à Paris en 1834) is one of the most important Parisian clockmakers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, he became a Master on May 1, 1778, and opened a workshop in the rue du Four-Saint-Honoré. He immediately became famous among connoisseurs of fine horology. Throughout his career, Manière sourced his clock cases from the best Parisian bronze casters and chasers, including Pierre-Philippe Thomire, François Rémond, Edmé Roy and Claude Galle. Marchands-merciers such as Dominique Daguerre and Martin-Eloi Lignereux called upon him to make clocks for the most influential collectors of the time, including the Prince de Salm, the banker Perregaux and the financier Micault de Courbeton, all three of whom were collectors of fine and rare horological pieces. Today, his clocks are found in the most important international private and public collections, including the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Musée national du château de Fontainebleau, the Quirinal Palace in Rome, the Nissim de Camondo Museum in Paris and the Musée national du château de Versailles et des Trianons.



    In the same category
    Hervieu
    Louis-Auguste Hervieu (1765-1811)

    Rare Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Egyptian Style Four-Light Candelabra with Matte and Burnished Finishing

    “The Chimeras”

    Candelabres034-04_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to Louis-Auguste Hervieu

    Paris, Empire period, circa 1805-1810

    Height62.5 Width29.5

    These finely chased candelabra, made of gilt and patinated bronze with matte and burnished finishing, feature baluster stems that are engraved with hieroglyphics, supported on the backs of three chimeras. The stems terminate in chapters with molded knops and bands of spiral fluting, which are surmounted by three owls with outstretched wings. The light arms, which issue from an entablature that is adorned with gadrooning and scrolling consoles, form three promontories to which are attached the three curved light arms, which are decorated with rosettes and acanthus leaves, and terminate in dragons’ heads that support the flame-shaped nozzles. The central baluster, which forms the fourth arm, is adorned with applied motifs of female figures holding wreaths. It terminates in a stylized cloud of smoke. The shaped and molded triangular plinths feature alternating friezes of flowers and palmettes; supporting them are bases that are engraved with hieroglyphs.

    The remarkable composition of this rare pair of candelabra was influenced by two principal sources. The first was the “Egyptomania” trend caused by the Egyptian Campaign led by General Bonaparte, the future Emperor Napoleon, in 1798 and 1801. The Campaign included a group of scientists, historians, and artists. Upon their return to France, they made Egypt-based themes immensely popular, particularly in the field of the decorative arts, with many models and motifs based on the art of ancient Egypt. As concerns the field of lighting in particular, many candelabra were adorned with solemn female figures and hieroglyphs that were directly inspired by the monumental sculpture of ancient Egypt. The second important influence was that of the candelabra that were designed by the English decorator Thomas Hope (1769-1831), a pair of which is shown in Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, London, 2008, fig. 73.

    The present candelabra, a perfect synthesis of these two influences, may be attributed to Louis-Auguste Hervieu (1765-1811), one of the most important bronze casters of the Empire period. Hervieux was highly respected; he worked with clockmakers such as Lepaute, bronziers such as Galle and Blerzy, and the painter Sauvage. He was particularly noted for his ability to create different types of lighting instruments based on preliminary models which he decorated using a vocabulary of basic motifs. In his work “Une nouvelle vision du bronze et des bronziers sous le Directoire et l’Empire”, in L’Estampille/L’Objet d’art, n° 398, January 2005, p. 80-84, Jean-Dominique Augarde studies several candelabra models created by Hervieu. Augarde’s article reveals that Hervieu was partial to owl motifs and regularly adorned his creations with them, as is the case for the present pair of candelabra. Among the small number of identical candelabra that are known to exist, one pair was offered at auction in Paris by Maîtres Couturier-Nicolay, on December 14, 1990, lot 35. Another pair was sold in Paris’ Palais Galliera by Maître Ader, on March 16, 1967, lot 65.

    Louis-Auguste Hervieu (1765 - 1811)

    One of the most important bronze casters of the Empire period. Hervieu was quite famous in his day, and worked with clockmakers such as the Lepautes, the bronziers Galle and Blerzy, and the painter Sauvage. He stood out from among the other bronze casters of his time due to his ability to design many different types of light fixtures, which were based on a limited number of basic models and tended to share certain motifs. Several models of candelabra made by Hervieu were studied by Jean-Dominique Augarde in “Une nouvelle vision du bronze et des bronziers sous le Directoire et l’Empire”, in L’Estampille/L’Objet d’art, n° 398, January 2005, p. 80-84.



    In the same category
    Jacob-Desmalter
    Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841)

    Important and Massive Neoclassical Mahogany Guéridon

    Gueridon007-02_HD_WEB

    Paris, Empire period, circa 1805

    Height74 Diamètre110

    The round, molded green marble tabletop rests upon an entablature with a molded apron The magnificent antique-style base is made up of three molded legs in the form of volutes centered by rosettes, which terminate in lion’s paws. The legs are adorned with wide, finely detailed leaves, double volutes and half-palmettes. In the center of the stretcher is a spiral-turned foot that is supported by a small concave roundel with plain toruses. The legs and the central foot   are linked by a triangular stretcher that is decorated with stylized waterleaves with rounded ends that rest upon three flattened molded feet.

    The remarkable design of this important guéridon, and in particular the architectural treatment of its base and the absence of bronze mounts, emphasizing the table’s strong lines and the quality of the mahogany veneering, rank it among the pieces of furniture that are most characteristic of the imperial esthetic. That style was encouraged by Napoleon as well as by the influential Parisian connoisseurs of the early 19th century. It represents an esthetic furniture style that was characteristic of one of the most remarkable workshops of the day – that of Jacob Desmalter, the maker of the present rare guéridon. While the curved lines of its legs are reminiscent of designs by architects Percier and Fontaine, the Jacob workshop is known to have produced this type of guéridon during the Restoration on commission by the royal Garde-Meuble. Among these tables, one model was delivered in 1837, destined for the bedchamber of Queen Marie-Amélie at Trianon (illustrated in P. Arizzoli-Clémentel and J-P. Samoyault, Le mobilier de Versailles, Chefs-d’œuvre du XIXe siècle, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2009, p. 346). A second example, from the furnishings of King Louis-Philippe at the Château de Neuilly, is illustrated in D. Ledoux-Lebard, Le mobilier français du XIXe siècle, dictionnaire des ébénistes et ménuisiers, Les éditions de l’Amateur, Paris, 2000, p. 361.

    Jacob-Desmalter (1770 - 1841)

    François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, dit Jacob-Desmalter may be considered to be the most important Parisian chair makers of the first quarter of the 19th century. The youngest son of the famous cabinetmaker Georges Jacob (1739-1814), in 1798 he married Adélaïde-Anne Lignereux, the daughter of the famous merchant Martin-Eloi Lignereux. He first became known for his talent as a draughtsman, and in 1796, he went into partnership with his older brother Georges II Jacob (1768-1803). Together they took over their father’s workshop in the rue Meslée, calling their firm Jacob Frères. After the death of his brother, Jacob Desmalter went into partnership with his father, who had begun working again, and changed his stamp. For nearly a decade, they were important suppliers of the Imperial Garde-Meuble, as well as of influential collectors of the time. However, in 1813 the Jacob firm went bankrupt, due largely to the Imperial administration’s failure to pay them regularly. In 1825, after several failed attempts at recovery, he sold his business to his son in exchange for a comfortable life annuity of 6,000 francs per year. Finally free of the demands of running a business, he began to travel, going to England, where George IV asked him to help decorate Windsor castle. He died in the rue Cadet in Paris, on August 15, 1841.



    Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Rare Pair of Tapered Gilt Bronze Vases with Matte and Burnished Finishing

    Vases016-06_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, late Empire period, circa 1815

    Height44 Width13

    The two vases, made of finely chased engine-turned and gilt bronze with matte and burnished finishing, feature a tapering, elongated belly that is adorned with applied female figures whose bodies terminate in floral scrolling against a gilt ground with burnished finishing. The mid-portion of the belly is adorned with plain molded rings framing a band of rosettes and palmettes. The lower portion is decorated with foliate motifs alternating with wide waterleaves. The applied double-reed handles terminate in lateral female masks. The lid, embellished with a gadrooned frieze, terminates in a spiral finial that emerges from a bouquet of leaves. The vase is set on a molded pedestal that is supported by a concave circular base adorned with a frieze of leaves and stems, which is set in turn on a circular plinth centered by an acanthus leaf frieze interwoven with a frieze of arches.

    This rare pair of covered vases with faux lids, is very finely chased, engine-turned, and gilded. It is a perfect illustration of the esthetic style promoted by Emperor Napoleon, who favored works inspired by classical antiquity, as well as sober compositions in bronze, always exceptional in quality. This artistic staging of power was inspired by the Parisian Neoclassicism of the reign of Louis XV. As of the mid 18th century, the esthetic dogmas that prevailed in the decorative arts, both in Paris and in Europe as a whole, came into question. This stylistic renewal grew out of the fabulous archeological discoveries made in the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, near Naples. During the second half of the century and the early decades of the following century, it greatly influenced contemporary Parisian artistic creations. That was the context in which the present pair of vases was created. Their remarkable design and the exceptional quality of their chasing and gilding support their attribution to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, the most talented Parisian bronzier of the early part of the 19th century.

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Rare Pair of Tapered Gilt Bronze Vases with Matte and Burnished Finishing

    Vases015-04_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, late Empire period, circa 1815

    Height44 Width13

    The two vases, made of finely chased engine-turned and gilt bronze with matte and burnished finishing, feature a tapering, elongated belly that is adorned with applied female figures whose bodies terminate in floral scrolling against a cross-hatched engine-turned ground. The mid-portion of the belly is adorned with plain molded rings framing a band of rosettes and palmettes. The lower portion is decorated with foliate motifs alternating with wide waterleaves. The applied double-reed handles terminate in lateral female masks. The lid, embellished with a gadrooned frieze, terminates in a spiral finial that emerges from a bouquet of leaves. The vase is set on a molded pedestal that is supported by a concave circular base adorned with a frieze of leaves and stems, which is set in turn on a circular plinth centered by an acanthus leaf frieze interwoven with a frieze of arches.

    This rare pair of covered vases with faux lids, is very finely chased, engine-turned, and gilded. It is a perfect illustration of the esthetic style promoted by Emperor Napoleon, who favored works inspired by classical antiquity, as well as sober compositions in bronze, always exceptional in quality. This artistic staging of power was inspired by the Parisian Neoclassicism of the reign of Louis XV. As of the mid 18th century, the esthetic dogmas that prevailed in the decorative arts, both in Paris and in Europe as a whole, came into question. This stylistic renewal grew out of the fabulous archeological discoveries made in the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, near Naples. During the second half of the century and the early decades of the following century, it greatly influenced contemporary Parisian artistic creations. That was the context in which the present pair of vases was created. Their remarkable design and the exceptional quality of their chasing and gilding support their attribution to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, the most talented Parisian bronzier of the early part of the 19th century.

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Important Matte Gilt Bronze, Italian Red Griotte Marble, and Colored Paris Porcelain “Egyptiennes” Mantelpiece

    Cheminee-04_HD_WEB

    The Bronze Mounts attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    The Bisque Porcelain Figures attributed to the Dagoty Manufactory and executed after a Drawing by Architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine

    Paris, early Empire period, circa 1805

    Height108.5 Width145.5 Depth41.2

    Created using three materials – Italian red griotte marble, colored Paris bisque porcelain, and finely chased matte gilt bronze, the present mantelpiece counts among the masterpieces of the category of the Parisian decorative arts that highlights motifs from ancient Egypt. This type of piece was part of the stylistic movement known today as Egyptian Revival or Egyptomania. The rectangular marble top rests on a lintel that is supported in back by two pilaster-form columns, the front being formed by two magnificent Egyptian women standing on stepped plinths. The women are wearing vulture headdresses and pectoral necklaces, with a figure-hugging dress that is tied under the breasts and features a vertical band that is adorned with hieroglyphs. In their hands they hold lotus or palm branches. The mantelpiece rests on two stepped quadrangular feet; it is elaborately embellished with applied chased gilt bronze motifs including griffons, lion’s masks, a framed scene of two lionesses drinking from a fountain flanked by half circles, flowers and stylized palmettes, flaming torches and foliage, scrolling, and palmettes, volutes and flower blossoms.

    In 1798 and 1801, France sent expeditions to Egypt with the aim of thwarting Britain’s ambitions in the Orient, in the hopes of controlling the country and dominating the region politically and economically.  Led first by then General Napoleon Bonaparte, then by his successors, this military operation, known as the “Egyptian Campaign”, was coupled with a veritable research mission manned by eminent scientists, historians and artists. The repercussions from the publication of their discoveries after their return to France were enormous, particularly so in the field of the decorative arts. In 1802, Baron Vivant-Denon published Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte, which met with great success. Subsequently, architects, painters and artisans began creating their own interpretations of Egyptian motifs and themes, which they integrated into their work. In the field of the decorative arts, candelabra, consoles, candlesticks, furniture, chairs, and mantelpieces began to be adorned with solemn female figures that were inspired by the monumental sculpture of the Egypt of the Pharaohs.

    The present mantelpiece was created within this particular context. The Paris bisque porcelain figures that support it may be attributed to the Dagoty Manufactory, a porcelain factory that was active in Paris from 1798 to 1820, and specialized in Egyptian style pieces. One piece from a surtout de table of this kind is in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff (see R. de Plinval de Guillebon, Faïence et porcelaine de Paris XVIIIe-XIXe siècles, Editions Faton, Dijon, p. 342, fig. 325). These figures were inspired by a preparatory drawing done circa 1800 by the famous Napoleonic architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (pictured in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus, Band I, Munich, 1986, p. 336, fig. 5.3.4).

    That watercolor sketch, which has remarkably survived and is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris, also inspired several other contemporary Parisian creations that included similar figures of Egyptian or Nubian Women. Among them, one console, which in 1807 stood in the Salon doré of the Parisian mansion belonging to arch-treasurer Lebrun, is now in the Grand Trianon in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles (pictured in P. Arizzoli-Clémentel and J-P. Samoyault, Le mobilier de Versailles, Chefs-d’œuvre du XIXe siècle, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2009, p. 95-97). A large candelabrum model created by Parisian bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire, one pair of which is today in a private collection, is pictured in S. Chadenet, Les styles Empire et Restauration, Edition Baschet et Cie, Paris, p. 71, fig. 1. A second is in the Hôtel de Salm, which houses the Grande Chancellerie de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris (see the exhibition catalogue Egyptomania, L’Egypte dans l’art occidental 1730-1930, RMN, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1994, p. 286-287, catalogue n° 167).

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Thomire  -  Boizot
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)
    Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809)

    Rare Patinated Bronze Group representing “The Parting of Hector and Andromache”

    Bronze001-03_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, created under the direction of Louis-Simon Boizot after a bisque group of the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory

    Paris, early 19th century, circa 1800-1810

    Height47 Width33 Depth26.5

    This very fine group featuring four figures illustrates one of the best-known episodes of classical mythology. The Trojan prince Hector is shown wearing a plumed helmet, a cloak, and antique armor. He embraces his wife Andromache, who is wearing a diadem and holds their son Astyanax in her arms as she gazes sadly at her husband. They stand next to a truncated column that stands on a rock. Behind them, a young woman holds the child’s cot. She may be either the nursemaid or Helen, who had become a friend of Andromache. The figures stand on a round plinth that is treated in a naturalistic manner. It bears the title “The Parting of Hector and Andromache”.

    The theme of the farewell of Hector, the Prince of Troy and the son of King Priam, and his wife Andromache, was frequently treated by Parisian artists and artisans beginning in the final decades of the 18th century. Taken from the Iliad, the famous epic poem by the Greek poet Homer, it depicts the moment when Hector, about to combat Achilles and certain he will be defeated, says goodbye to his loved ones. This iconography was given a different treatment in the clock that the Lepautes delivered in 1805, which was to be placed on the mantel of the Grand Salon of the Petit Trianon, and is today in the French Public Collections (illustrated in M-F. Dupuy-Baylet, Pendules du Mobilier national 1800-1870, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2006, p. 111, catalogue n° 47).

    The present group was cast in bronze after a Sèvres bisque statuette that was created circa 1797-1798 under the direction of Boizot; an example of that model is in the Louvre Museum in Paris (see T. Préaud and G. Scherf, La Manufacture des Lumières, La sculpture à Sèvres de Louis XV à la Révolution, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2015, p. 270). The group’s exceptionally fine chasing suggests it should be attributed to the talented bronze caster Pierre-Philippe Thomire. Thomire also worked with Boizot on another bronze group that is today in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (see T. Picquenard, “Catalogue de l’œuvre sculptée de Louis-Simon Boizot”, in the exhibition catalogue Louis-Simon Boizot 1743-1809, Sculpteur du roi et directeur de l’atelier de sculpture à la Manufacture de Sèvres, Musée Lambinet, Versailles, 2001-2002, p. 165-166).

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    Louis-Simon Boizot (1743 - 1809)

    The son of Antoine Boizot, a designer at the Gobelins tapestry manufacture, Boizot worked in the atelier of sculptor René-Michel Slodtz (1705–1764), who also trained Houdon. Boizot married Marguerite Virginie Guibert, the daughter of sculptor Honoré Guibert. In 1778 he was admitted to the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture and exhibited at the yearly salons until 1800. His portrait busts of Louis XVI and Joseph II were created in 1777 and made in bisque porcelain at Sèvres.

    From 1773 to 1800 Boizot directed the sculpture workshop of the Sèvres porcelain Manufactory, producing the series of unglazed biscuit figures with a matte finish resembling that of marble.

    Boizot also created terracotta designs for gilt-bronze clock cases, such as that of the allegorical “Avignon” clock in the Wallace Collection in London, which was cast and chased by Pierre Gouthière in 1777.



    In the same category
    Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Rare Pair of Bronze Athenienne tazzas with Burnished and Matte Gilding

    Coupes_003-01_HD_PRESSE

    Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, Empire period, circa 1805-1810

    Height51.2 Diamètre29.7

    Each tazza is made entirely of finely chased and engine-turned gilt bronze with patinated, matte and burnished finishing. They stand on crossed braces that are connected by roundels and rest upon three clawed lions’ paws with rounded upper rims that are decorated with leaf and seed motifs. The Athenienne tripod base supports a circular bowl with leaf frieze decoration and a gadrooned belly. The pedestal is adorned with engine-turned bands and rests upon a stepped entablature with a central large pinecone finial. The solid, shaped base is made of green breccia marble.

    The unusual design of the present tazzas, featuring crossed braces centered by roundels, was inspired by classical tripods, tables, and atheniennes such as those that may be seen in the Louvre Museum in Paris and the Archaeological Museum in Naples (see G. Henriot, Le luminaire de la Renaissance au XIXe siècle, Paris, plate 27). This particularly elaborate model, produced during the Empire period, may be confidently attributed to bronze caster Pierre-Philippe Thomire. It was produced either in the form of athenienne tazzas such as the present model (very rarely), or pedestal tables. A few rare pedestal tables with similar bases are known; among them, one example with an octagonal tabletop of imitation bronze-painted patinated wood, which is today in the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris (illustrated in C. Bizot, Mobilier Directoire Empire, Editions Charles Massin, Paris, p. 69). A second example, attributed to the Jacob brothers’ workshop, is illustrated in J-P. Samoyault, Mobilier français Consulat et Empire, Editions Gourcuff Gradenigo, Paris, 2009, p. 120, fig. 204). One further model was delivered in 1809 by Jacob-Desmalter, to be placed in the cabinet particulier of the Empress’s apartments in Fontainebleau Palace (see J-P. Samoyault, Fontainebleau, Musée national du Château, Catalogue des collections de mobilier 3, Meubles entrés sous le Premier Empire, RMN, Paris, 2004, p. 253, catalogue n° 180).

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.