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A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU CHENETS

Details
A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU CHENETS

Each with breakfront plinth centred by a circular panelled medallion with ribbon-twist edge and mask, the ribbon-twist border surmounted by a central urn with a circular fluted foot, griffin-heads to either side and with a pine-cone finial issuing from the domed stiff-leaf top, flanked by scrolling acanthus and a fruiting finial to either side, on spirally reeded turned tapering legs headed by a stiff-leaf collar surmounted by a flowerhead
14½in. (37cm.) wide (2)
Provenance
Mrs. Anna Thomson Dodge, Rose Terrace, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, United States of America, sold in these Rooms, 24 June 1971, lot 19

Lot Essay

These chenets, particularly the spirally-reeded feet and scrolling foliage en arabesque, are based on a design by Jean-François Forthy which was engraved by N. Foin and published in his cahier de six feux de cheminées à l'usage des fondeurs.
This pair of chenets, executed circa 1785 and almost certainly commissioned by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, is closely related to a pair of chenets from the Wrightsman collection (F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol. II, p. 286, cat. 200) and consequently sold by Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, Sotheby's New York, 4 May 1985, lot 189. They share identical bases surmounted by identical vases but vary in having tritons issuing from the vases rather than griffin-heads. It is therefore likely that the fondeur or ciseleur-doreur owned the rights to the base and varied the added decorative elements.
These chenets also compare to a pair delivered by the fondeur Jean-Noël Turpin to the garde-meuble de la Couronne in 1786 (N. Gasc and G. Mabille, The Nissim de Camondo Museum, catalogue, Paris, 1991, p. 59, illus.).
Conceived in the Louis XVI antique or arabesque manner as urn-capped altars dedicated to the sun-god Apollo, these chenets comprise festive thyrsus-finialled urns with fluted column stems embellished with ribbon-tied griffin-heads emerging from voluted stems of Roman foliage. Their plinths, on paired feet spiralled like Jove's thunderbolts, are embellished with acanthus-flowered tablets flanking an Apollo-masked medallion.
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