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A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED AGATE URNS
A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED AGATE URNS
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A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED AGATE URNS

CIRCA 1780, POSSIBLY BALTIC

Details
A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED AGATE URNS
CIRCA 1780, POSSIBLY BALTIC
Each body flanked by lion masks swaged with lion pelts, on a spreading socle with berried laurel banding above a square base, the lids later
14 ½ in. (37 cm.) high
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 24 June 1988, lot 12.
With Partridge Fine Arts, London, 1989.

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Adrian Hume-Sayer
Adrian Hume-Sayer

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Lot Essay

Strong parallels can be drawn between these sumptuously mounted rare agate vases and a boldly mounted alabaster garniture de cheminèe recorded in the Rothschild collection at Waddeston Manor, Buckinghamshire - previously in the collection of Viscount Hill, until acquired for Waddeston at Christie’s in 1883. The robust scheme of mounts to the bodies of these vases bears particularly close comparison with the Waddeston vases, which are also flanked with lions’ masks issuing pelt drapery. It is also interesting to draw a comparison between the unusual use of well figured large agate specimens employed here with the uncommon use of figured alabaster for the bodies of the Waddeston vases; the combination of these attributes suggesting the possibility of a common source.
Through established links to the Parisian maker of the Waddeston garniture’s clock, Martin Baffert, the names of Jean-Nicolas Fremontè (maître fondeur-ciseleur 1769); Nicolas-Guillaume Jourdan (maître fondeur-ciseleur 1764) and François-Robert Leguel (maître doreur-ciseleur) are raised as possible authors (G. de Bellaigue, Waddesdon Manor Catalogue: Furniture, Clocks and Gilt Bronzes: James A. De Rothschild Collection, Vol. I, London, 1974, pp. 111-113, no. 19), however, given the nature and robust design of these rare agate vases a northern origin can also not be dismissed.

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