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    Sale 12455

    European Furniture & Works of Art

    6 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 112

    A CHARLES X ORMOLU AND MALACHITE CENTREPIECE

    BY PIERRE-PHILIPPE THOMIRE, CIRCA 1825

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A CHARLES X ORMOLU AND MALACHITE CENTREPIECE
    BY PIERRE-PHILIPPE THOMIRE, CIRCA 1825
    Modelled as a putto astride two entwined dolphins supporting a tazza, on an oval base with a fruit garland and acanthus feet, the plinth signed ‘THOMIRE À PARIS’, engraved with an inventory number '1795'
    18 ¾ in. (47.5 cm.) high; 17 ¾ in. (45 cm.) wide


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    This superbly cast and finely chased ormolu and malachite surtout de table, stamped ‘THOMIRE À PARIS’, was possibly made for the Russian market, where the combination of ‘Antique’ motifs with indigenous malachite was highly fashionable. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the finest malachite came from mines in the Ural Mountains owned by the Demidoff family. The celebrated 1880 sale catalogue of the contents of Prince Demidoff's Florentine villa, the Palais de San Donato, illustrates a collection replete with malachite works of art. This included a number with ormolu mounts by Thomire, notably lot 92, a ‘Grande et belle vasque ronde en malachite, supportée par un balustre et trois figures de femmes ailées, se terminant en hermès et reposant sur une base concave triangulaire en bronze ciselé et doré au mat, avec le plus grand soin, par Thomire’, which is now in the collection of the Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Parma, Italy. Other Thomire-stamped ormolu-mounted malachite works of art from the sale were lots 93, 96, 940 and 1533.

    Maritime subjects, especially a cherub with dolphins, was a recurrent Thomire theme; the Catalogue des Modèles et Surmoulés dont la vente aura lieu pour la liquidation de la Maison de MM. Thomire & Cie, held 20-22 June 1853, describes three such models: lot 228, ‘Un groupe, Enfant au dauphin, bronze’; lot 370, ‘Une corbeille, enfants, dauphins, bronze doré; lot 376, Une assiette montée, enfants, dauphins, bronze doré’. A pair of ormolu centre pieces each depicting an identical cherub with two dolphins by Thomire, sold Christie's, London, 15 March 2012, lot 5 (£43,250 inc. premium). Another related ormolu centrepiece representing a cherub with trident with two dolphins, sold Christie's, New York, 18 October 2002, lot 518. A three-piece ormolu 'dolphin' garniture by Thomire, sold Sotheby's, New York, 18 November 2011, lot 47. A pair of ormolu and malachite tazze with sirens and dolphin feet, signed Thomire, sold ‘The Collection of Gianni Versace’, Sotheby’s, New York, 5 April 2001, lot 162.