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A FRENCH SILVERED-ELECTROTYPE AND GILT-BRONZE EWER AND BASIN ON STAND
A FRENCH SILVERED-ELECTROTYPE AND GILT-BRONZE EWER AND BASIN ON STAND

AFTER THE MODEL BY FRANÇOIS BRION, MID-19TH CENTURY

Details
A FRENCH SILVERED-ELECTROTYPE AND GILT-BRONZE EWER AND BASIN ON STAND
AFTER THE MODEL BY FRANÇOIS BRION, MID-19TH CENTURY
Decorated overall with arabesques and classical figures, the ewer with term support and figural roundels, the basin centred by a medallion of a maiden inscribed 'TEMPE RANTIA' within two rows of allegorical roundels with various inscriptions, emblematic of the Seven Liberal Arts and sciences and Minerva, on a tripod base with pierced stylized foliage and terminating in sandal feet
43 in. (109 cm.) high; 17 ¾ in. (45 cm.) diameter

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Adam Kulewicz
Adam Kulewicz

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Lot Essay

Inspired by the 16th century craftsmanship of the French Mannerist model carver, medallist and pattern-maker, François Briot, the basin's ornamentation is identical to the 'Temperantia' Basin, one of the highlights of the V & A's pewter collection. The surface of this dish is decorated with cast designs in relief with its central plaque depicting a figure of Temperance holding a wine-cup and ewer. Around the central boss a broad band of ornament contains four plaques with figures representing AER (Air), AQUA (Water), TERRA (Earth), and IGNIS (Fire). On the rim there are oval panels depicting the Seven Liberal Arts and their patron Minerva: GRAMMATIC (Grammar), DIALECTICA (Dialect), RHETORICA (Rhetoric), MUSICA (Music), ARITHMETIQUA (Arithmetic), GEOMETRIA (Geometry) and ASTROLOGIA (Astrology). Between the plaques the dish is covered with finely cast strapwork, birds, masks, serpents, fruit, flowers and winged horses.

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