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A pair of large French Neo-Grec ormolu amphora-shaped vases

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A pair of large French Neo-Grec ormolu amphora-shaped vases

DESIGNED BY FERDINAND LEVILLAIN, CAST BY FERDINAND BARBEDIENNE, PARIS, LAST QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

Details
A pair of large French Neo-Grec ormolu amphora-shaped vases Designed by Ferdinand Levillain, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, Paris, Last quarter 19th century Each with gadrooned rim above a waisted neck raised with bearded satyr masks supporting foliate and fruit swags, the shoulder cast with trailing flowers, the tapering body with upper band cast with birds, wild animals, herms, pots and vases of fruit, above central bands, on one side depicting a seated youth supporting a basket of ducks and a rabbit, conversing with a maiden carrying a fruit-laden basket, the reverse side depicting a peacock, goat and altars supporting baskets of fruit, applied with a pair of loop handles with anthemion terminals, one inscribed to the front F. BARBEDIENNE, above a guilloche band and seated sphinxes among scrolling foliage, with fluted lower section, supported on triple anthemion-cast lion-paw monopodiae, on tri-form acanthus-cast base, the interior of each with zinc liner 57¼ in. (145.5 cm.) high (2)
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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 large tripod-supported Grecian vases, with altar-decorated bas-reliefs and inscribed prayers to a goddess, would originally have been conceived as oil-lamps. An example of the collaboration between Ferdinand Levillain (d.1905), the late 19th century sculpteur-ornemaniste, and Ferdinand Barbedienne (d.1892), perhaps the most celebrated bronzier of the same era, this model vase was first shown at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1878 (see the Exhibition catalogue illustration opposite).

Another pair of these vases, without plinths, sold Christie's New York, 24 April 2001, lot 251 ($68,150).

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