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    Sale 7806

    Lord St. Helens and Sir William FitzHerbert The Collections of a Diplomat and a Courtier

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 543

    A PAIR OF EMPIRE BRONZE RECLINING SPHINXES

    EARLY 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF EMPIRE BRONZE RECLINING SPHINXES
    EARLY 19TH CENTURY
    Each on a stepped rectangular portor and grey bardiglio marble base, greyish brown patina, very minor chips to bases, the bardiglio plinths added slightly later in the 19th Century
    5 x 7 in. (12.7 x 17.8 cm.); 9½ in. (24.1 cm.) high, overall (2)


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    Although several models of chenets with sphinxes exist dating from the 1780s, perhaps their earliest appearance is on a design by Jean-Louis Prieur of circa 1770 in the musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (8485). In the 1780s, the architect François-Joseph Bélanger drew a design for a sphinx chenet (now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris), which was subsequently supplied to both Marie-Antoinette and Madame Elizabeth at Versailles and the Tuileries in 1784-5. Probably executed by the ciseleur-doreur Quentin-Claude Pitoin, the model is now at Versailles, the Louvre and the Cleveland Museum of Art (H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 276, fig. 4.11.4).

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