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    Sale 7592

    Four British Collections Including Important Furniture

    5 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 55

    A LATE LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED GREY-VEINED WHITE MARBLE CHIMNEYPIECE

    CIRCA 1790

    Price Realised  

    A LATE LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED GREY-VEINED WHITE MARBLE CHIMNEYPIECE
    CIRCA 1790
    The rectangular moulded top above a guilloche frieze and fluted Ionic columns filled with chandelles and with pine-cone terminals, surmounted by maiden's masks, with inner foliate-moulded slip
    Overall: 44½ in. (113 cm.) high; 67¼ in. (170.5 cm.) wide; 13¾ in. (35 cm.) deep
    Aperture: 35¼ x 52¼ in. (89.5 x 132.5 cm.)


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    The golden bronze-enriched marble chimneypiece, evolved from a pattern introduced around 1780 at the Palais de Fontainebleau, and is conceived in the Louis XVI antique Pompeian manner to evoke the festive role of the sun-deity Apollo as companion to the Mt. Parnassus Muses of Artistic Inspiration. The deity's bas-relief mask embellishes the tablets that accompany his antique-fluted and reed-wreathed quivers, which project from the sides of the hearth. They form tapered columns, raised by bacchic pinecone thyrsae, while their Ionic capitals recall Rome's temple of Fortuna Virilis. Beneath a cornice enriched with darts and shields, the chimney frieze is wreathed by an acanthus-tied ribbon-guilloche, whose flowered and Egyptian-striated libation paterae include the sunflower in recognition of the sun-god's love, as recounted in Ovid's, Metamorphoses. The Parisian marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre (d. 1796) in his 1780s role as decorator or 'Clerk of Works' to George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, is likely to have been responsible for the introduction of a related chimneypiece of this pattern at the Prince's palatial mansion, Carlton House, where it was illustrated by C. Wild in the Ante-Room to the Prince's suite of blue-velvet rooms, shortly before its removal to Windsor Castle in 1826. (C. Wild, Royal Residences, Carlton House, 1819 illustrated in D. Watkin, The Royal Interiors of Regency England, London, 1984, p. 116; Carlton House, The Past Glories of George IV's Palace, 1991, fig. 190; and H. Roberts, For the King's Pleasure; The Furnishing and Decoration of George IV's Apartment at Windsor Castle, London, 2001. figs. 235 and 245).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Supplied by Stéphane Boudin of Maison Jansen, Paris, in 1957.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
    (LOTS 40-81)