• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2037

    Important European Furniture, Ceramics, and Carpets

    21 November 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 49

    A PAIR OF ITALIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED ALABASTER VASES

    CIRCA 1800

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF ITALIAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED ALABASTER VASES
    CIRCA 1800
    Each decorated with Vitruvian scroll to the body, lacking lids
    14½ in. (37 cm.) high, 8 in. (20 cm.) diameter (2)


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    This pair of vases relates to the oeuvre of Giuseppe
    Valadier (1762-1839), the Roman bronzier and silversmith, who took over his father Luigi's workshop after his death in 1785, which he ran until about 1810. The delicately chased mounts in the antique manner and sparing use of small scale classical ornament, particularly the lion's masks ormolu mounts and bead-carved alabaster bodies are characteristic of Valadier's oeuvre and can be found in some of his designs (A. Gonzalez-Palacios, 'Valadier Father and Son - Some Further Notes and Discoveries', Furniture History, 2007, figs. 13-16, pp. 78-80). A drawing of a porphyry candelabrum by Luigi Valadier with a similarly-shaped vase form base, with beaded edge and central lion mask, is illustrated in E. Colle, et. al, Bronzi Decorativi in Italia, Milan, 2001, p. 200. Giuseppe Valadier took over the workshop of his father, the celebrated Luigi Valadier, on the latter's death in 1785. The successful firm had been founded in 1725 by his grandfather Andrea and was sold in 1827, having been the leading silversmith and bronze-founders of Rome for over a century. Giuseppe, while concentrating on architectural commissions, also supplied works of art to Pope Pius VI, Duke Luigi Braschi Onesti and Prince Camillo Borghese.