A FINE PAIR OF LOUIS XVI STYLE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE FOUR-LIGHT WALL-APPLIQUES
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A FINE PAIR OF LOUIS XVI STYLE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE FOUR-LIGHT WALL-APPLIQUES

BY ALFRED BEURDELEY, PARIS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

Details
A FINE PAIR OF LOUIS XVI STYLE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE FOUR-LIGHT WALL-APPLIQUES
BY ALFRED BEURDELEY, PARIS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
En suite with the previous lot, each with vine-wrapped thyrsus and scrolled back support, fronted by a bare-breasted maiden flanked by two pairs of scrolled and acanthus-wrapped fluted branches terminating in urn-shaped nozzles and leaf and bead-cast drip-pans, with trailing vine terminal, the reverse of each stamped BY and B63
25 in. (63.5 cm.) high; 16¼ in. (41.2 cm.) wide (2)
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

These wall-appliques are designed in the Louis XVI goût Grec style and are a variation, with four-branches as opposed to two, of a pair formerly in the Demidoff collection at San Donato, sold at auction in 1880 and now at the Detroit Institute of Arts (as illustrated in H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 291, fig. 4.16.12).

The classically draped caryatid figures are directly comparable to those adorning a pair of candelabra firmly attributed to doreur François Rémond (1747-1812) and dated to 1784-6 (as illustrated in P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection: Catalogue of Furniture, London, 1996, vol. III, pp. 1259-1264). François Rémond was one of the foremost bronziers of the late Louis XVI period and as such it is fitting that these four appliques be by the firm of Beurdeley, which was renowned for the refinement of its ormolu, whose mercurial gilding and hand chasing is of such quality that it is difficult to distinguish from late 18th century work.

For a full note on Beurdeley please refer to lot 50.

The Palais de San Donato was the Florentine residence of the immensely wealthy Russian Demidoff family who made their fortune from the mining and refinement of iron ore from the Urals. Nicolas Demidoff commissioned San Donato in 1818 and shortly afterwards set about filling it with fantastic art works. The enormous collection was further swelled, by his son Prince Anatole Demidoff, before being dispersed in a series of auctions in Paris in 1863, 1868 and 1870 (fourteen salons) and in Florence in 1880, the catalogue for which features the engraving shown above.

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