• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7830

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    21 January 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 99

    A FRENCH ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE ATHENIENNE

    AFTER A DESIGN BY PERCIER & FONTAINE, 20TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FRENCH ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE ATHENIENNE
    AFTER A DESIGN BY PERCIER & FONTAINE, 20TH CENTURY
    The circular drum-shaped top hung with bucrania and swags with a removable metal insert, above three sphinx and monopodia supports united by scrolled brackets and a central urn finial, on a concave sided tricorn base
    33¾ in. (86 cm.) high; 16½ in. (42 cm.) diameter


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    This form of athenienne is derived from the tripod stand discovered in the Temple of Isis at Pompeii and now at the Museo Archeologico, Naples. This celebrated stand served as the model for the baptismal fonts by Luigi and Francesco Monfradini, one a present to the Empress Marie-Louise by the city of Milan in 1811, the other for the King of Rome in 1813 ('The Age of Neo Classicism', Exhibition Catalogue, London, 1972, pl. XII, no. 1828.).
    Widely copied in the 19th century, the design was popularised in C. Percier and P. Fontaine's Recueil de Décorations Intérieures of 1801, pl. 23 and 33). They were almost certainly the designers of a pair of tripod basin stands of similar form supplied around 1802/3 for the bedroom of the Emperor Napoleon and Empress Josephine at the Ch'cateau de Saint-Cloud.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Bought from Jean-François Bourriand, Louvres des Antiquaires, 12 June 1982.