A PAIR OF LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED ALABASTER VASES
PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOTS 219 - 238)
A PAIR OF LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED ALABASTER VASES

CIRCA 1770-75

Details
A PAIR OF LATE LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED ALABASTER VASES
CIRCA 1770-75
Each with cover surmounted by pomegranate finial, the baluster-form body flanked by ram's masks, on a stepped socle and guilloché square plinth
18 in. (45.5 cm.) high; 8 ¾ in. (22.5 cm.) wide; 6 ½ in. (16.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
Possibly Jean-Baptiste Dubarry, comte du Barry-Cérès, his sale, Paris, 21 November 1774, lot 163.

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Paul Gallois
Paul Gallois

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Lot Essay

This precious pair of ormolu-mounted alabaster vases is closely related to the oeuvre of the celebrated bronzier Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813). The finely chased ram’s masks mounts indeed recall, in smaller scale, those by Gouthière featured on a single vase delivered to Louis-Marie Augustin, 5th duc d'Aumont (1709-1782) and illustrated in the catalogue of his collection sale in 1782 (pl. 12), now in the Louvre (OA5178; OA5179). Arguably the most fervent hardstone collector of the 18th century, the duc d’Aumont set up a workshop at the hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs specialising in the cutting and polishing of precious stones, most often with a view to adorn these with rich mounts.

A pair of vases of this model, possibly the present lot, appears in the 1774 collection sale of Jean-Baptiste Dubarry, comte du Barry-Cérès, lot 163: ‘deux vases d’albâtre embellis de deux têtes de bélier, gaudrons, cercles & autres pièces de bronze dorés’. Interestingly, all the ormolu mounts described in the ‘du Barry- Cérès’ sale are featured here: the ram’s masks, the gadroons to the rim, and ‘cercle’ (ring mount) to the body. Jean-Baptiste du Barry-Cérès (1723-1794), former lover and brother-in-law of Madame du Barry, sold part of his collection when he fell into disgrace at Versailles after the death of Louis XV in 1774.

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