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A DIRECTOIRE ORMOLU AND BLUED STEEL THERMOMETER

CIRCA 1795

Details
A DIRECTOIRE ORMOLU AND BLUED STEEL THERMOMETER
circa 1795
The shaped vertical face with calibrated scale and record temperatures headed by a female mask within a berried leaf-tip frame surmounted by a celestial globe finial, supported by opposing seated winged female sphinxes, on an oblong base, the frieze with central female mask issuing pendant foliate scrolls on turned feet, regilt
19in. (48cm.) high, 11½in. (29cm.) wide, 4½in. (11.5cm.) deep

Lot Essay

The combination of sphinxes and elegant rinceau scolls in the fashionable goût étrusque of the 1780's relates to the work of the bronzier François Rémond (maître in 1774). A design for a pair of chenets supplied circa 1780 by Rémond to the princesse de Lamballe with similar sphinxes issuing scrolling foliage is illustrated in H.Ottomeyer/P.Pröschel et al.,Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol.I, p.279, fig.4.12.3. A pair of chenets after this design in the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, is illustrated op.cit., fig.4.12.4. The motif may ultimately derive from the designs of Giovanni Battista Piranesi,as a similar sphinx with foliage appears in his Diverse Maniere d'adornare i cammini,1769,p.31.
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