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    Sale 11899

    Sculpture

    13 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 2

    A CIRCULAR PLASTER DOUBLE PORTRAIT RELIEF OF THE MONTGOLFIER BROTHERS

    AFTER THE MODEL BY JEAN-ANTOINE HOUDON (1741-1828), 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    This lot is offered without a reserve

    A CIRCULAR PLASTER DOUBLE PORTRAIT RELIEF OF THE MONTGOLFIER BROTHERS
    AFTER THE MODEL BY JEAN-ANTOINE HOUDON (1741-1828), 19TH CENTURY
    In a later giltwood frame
    22 ¾ in. (58 cm.) diameter, overall


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    Brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier invented the "Montgolfière-style" hot air balloon, or the globe aérostatique, which first launched Jacques-Étienne into the sky in 1783. Celebrities of their day, their profiles were recognized throughout France and such portrait reliefs would have hung on the walls of enthusiasts' homes. That same year, Houdon was commissioned to design a medal in honor of the Montgolfier brothers. The two brothers' superposed profiles are reminiscent of conquerors on Antique cameos and recall Houdon's marble medallion of Apollo done the year before. The original gilt-bronze relief is now in the musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, Le Bourget, Paris.

    Special Notice

    This lot is offered without reserve.
    Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Etude Couturier Nicolay, Paris, 29 March 2000, lot 87.


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    Versailles, musée national du château de Versailles, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828), Sculpteur des Lumières, 1 March - 31 May 2004, pp. 213-216, no. 35.
    S. Hoog, Musée national du château de Versailles. Les sculptures. I. Le musée, Paris, 1993, n° 1269.