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    Sale 7466

    Le Goût Steinitz, III

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 459

    A LATE LOUIS XV EMBOSSED AND PATINATED-COPPER FOUNTAIN

    CIRCA 1765-1775

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LATE LOUIS XV EMBOSSED AND PATINATED-COPPER FOUNTAIN
    CIRCA 1765-1775
    The vase-shaped body decorated with oak branches and flanked by rams's mask, the lower part with a spout issuing from a bearded man's mask, headed by a domed cover decorated with stylised leaves and flowers, on a circular spreading gadrooned socle
    45 in. (114.5 cm.) high, 28¾ in. (73 cm.) wide, 21¼ in. (54 cm.) deep


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    This splendid cast and embossed copper fountain, with its reed-wrapped river-god mask and Bacchic ram's masks and oak-leaf garlands, combines the 'pittoresque' style of the high rococo style of the 1730's and the 1740's with a nascent neo-classicism revealed in its à l'antique overall shape and gadrooned and fluted mouldings. Such fountains would have been used to serve wine and refreshments from a buffet. Similar mask-decorated fountains appear in 18th century engravings illustrating elegant meals served al fresco in gardens (see example illustrated here).

    Fountains, being in constant flux through the flow of water and repesenting an intersection of the natural and the artificial, are a central element of the 'pittoresque' style of early rococo iconography, and feature prominently in the design books of influential ornemanistes such as Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier and François de Cuvilliés. A related design for a fountain by Pierre-Quentin Chedel (reproduced here) features a similar bearded river-god emerging from reeds.

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