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    Sale 7682

    IMPERIAL DESIGN From Stockholm to St Petersburg

    25 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 6

    A PAIR OF SWEDISH BLYBERG PROPHYRY VASES

    CIRCA 1810, ALVDALEN (ELFDAL)

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SWEDISH BLYBERG PROPHYRY VASES
    CIRCA 1810, ALVDALEN (ELFDAL)
    Of campana shape, the everted rim above a tapering body, on a pinched and spreading base and square foot
    13¼ in. (35.5 cm.) high (2)


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    A vase of exactly this shape based on the Borghese vase in the Louvre is shown in a drawing by Fredrik Ludvig Rung of 1799 and in a French catalogue of 1805 advertising porphyry from Elfdal in Sweden, illustrated Bukowski's Exhibition Catalogue, Porfyr, Dec. 1985- Feb. 1986, p. 31. A vase of exactly this shape, and size in Blyberg porphyry was also included in this Exhibition (no. 24). Älvdalen (Elfdal) in Sweden appears to have been the only place in Europe since Antiquity where porphyry has been mined seriously. Mining started in the 1730's and the works were bought by King Carl XIV Johan, first of the Bernadotte Kings of Sweden, as part of his ambition to bring the splendour of the French Empire style to Sweden. During this period many items in porphyry were distributed throughout Europe as diplomatic presents. The works, which were sold by the Royal Family in 1856, were destroyed by fire ten years later and subsequent production was sporadic and limited.

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