• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7445

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 December 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 175

    A PAIR OF SWEDISH ORMOLU AND PORPHYRY ('RANNAS') VASES

    CIRCA 1800

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SWEDISH ORMOLU AND PORPHYRY ('RANNAS') VASES
    CIRCA 1800
    Each with a waisted neck cast with stiff-leaf and lotus, surmounted by a gadrooned rim and flanked by panelled vine-cast handles with lotus bases, above a circular perched foot and a stepped foliate-cast plinth, the lower part of the vases previously with a further ring mount
    15¾ in. (40 cm.) high (2)


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    These splendid vases are among the finest examples of Swedish ormolu-mounted porphyry from the earliest phase of production around 1785-1795. They relate to C.F. Sundvall's designs for porphyry vases, which were executed around 1788-1790, and to those by the Court ciseleur Fredrik Ludvig Rung of 1799 (H. Sundblom, Porfyr, Stockholm, 1985, p. 21). Various related porphyry items were intended as gifts by the King of Sweden, Maréchal Bernadotte, who reigned as Karl XIV Johann from 1818 to 1844. The King presented numerous porphyry objets to Napoléon's maréchaux and various other French dignitaries.

    Porphyry was first discovered in Sweden at Älvdalen in 1731 but was not commercially exploited until after 1788 by Eric Hagström under the direction of Nile Adam Bielke. The works were purchased by Bernadotte in 1818 and stayed in Royal ownership until 1856.

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