A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED PORTOR MARBLE URNS
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A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED PORTOR MARBLE URNS

LATE 18TH CENTURY

Details
A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED PORTOR MARBLE URNS
Late 18th Century
Each with gadrooned lip flanked by two satyrs, the tapering body on a waisted socle and laurel-wreathed foot, on a square pedestal, lacking marble part of the lids, repairs to the soccles, lacking some mounts, the infant handles Louis XVI but associated, the rim-mount consequentially added for fixture
24¼ in. (61.5 cm.) high; 12 in. (30.5 cm.) wide (2)
Provenance
Probably acquired by either Robert, 1st Marquess of Westminster (1767-1845), or Richard, 2nd Marquess of Westminster (1795-1869), Eaton Hall, Cheshire, and by descent.
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

The fashion for urns, columns and objets de luxe of granite, porphry and other hardstones reached its apogee in the late 18th Century. Foremost amongst the collectors, apart from Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, was the celebrated amateur Louis-Marie-Augustin, 5th duc d'Aumont (d.1782), who established ateliers specialising in the use of hardstones within the hôtel des menus-plaisirs on the rue du Faubourg-Poissonière. Under d'Aumont's patronage, François-Joseph Belanger (d.1818) was engaged as architect-designer, the ciseleur-doreur Pierre Gouthière was commissioned to supply the gilt-bronze mounts and the Genoese sculptor Augustin Bocciardi was employed for cutting and polishing the stones.

The sale of the duc's collection following his death in 1782 lasted no less than nine consecutive days and included a number of objects in porphry and other hard stones, a large proportion of which were brought be Louis XVI and are now in the Musée du Louvre. Indeed, Louis XVI himself had already established quarries in the Vosges mountains specialising in the cutting and working of hard stones and these 'Manufactures privilégiées du Roi' sold them through a 'Magasin ou dépôt des Ouvrages en roches, composées de granits, granitelles, jaspes, serpentins et porphyres' in Paris.
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