Lot Content

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A PAIR OF ORMOLU-MOUNTED SÈVRES BISCUIT FIGURES OF BATHERS ON FLUTED BLEU NOUVEAU COLUMNAR PEDESTALS, ('BAIGNEUSE' ET 'BAIGNEUSE AUX ROSEAUX')
VARIOUS PROPERTIES
A PAIR OF ORMOLU-MOUNTED SÈVRES BISCUIT FIGURES OF BATHERS ON FLUTED BLEU NOUVEAU COLUMNAR PEDESTALS, ('BAIGNEUSE' ET 'BAIGNEUSE AUX ROSEAUX')

CIRCA 1766, FROM MODELS BY FALCONET, INCISED F TO THE FIRST, 5 TO THE SECOND

Details
A PAIR OF ORMOLU-MOUNTED SÈVRES BISCUIT FIGURES OF BATHERS ON FLUTED BLEU NOUVEAU COLUMNAR PEDESTALS, ('BAIGNEUSE' ET 'BAIGNEUSE AUX ROSEAUX')
Circa 1766, from models by Falconet, incised F to the first, 5 to the second
Each nude draped for modesty, standing beside the banks of a river poised to enter the water, one with a treestump at her left, the other with bull rushes at her right, on a fluted columnar base with a later ormolu fitted platform between the figure and the column
14 in. (35.5 cm.) and 13 in. (33 cm.) high, the figures; 17 in. (43.2 cm.) and 16 3/8 in. (41.5 cm.) high overall (2)
Provenance
The Property of a New York Private Collector, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, Inc., New York, 22 October 1974, lot 364.
Literature
Marie-Noëlle Pinot de Villechenon, et. al., Falconet à Sèvres 1757-1766 ou l'art de plaire, Exhibition Catalogue, 6 November 2001 - 5 February 2002, no. 97a.
Sale room notice
Please note: the figure of Baigneuse is in soft paste porcelain. The slightly later model, Baigneuse aux Roseaux, is in hard paste porcelain. Although of soft paste porcelain, the fluted plinths supporting the biscuit figures were not made at the Sèvres factory. Tournai or Arras are more likely their source.

Lot Essay

Also known as Nymphe qui descend au bain, Étienne-Maurice Falconet based his biscuit figure of a bather of 1758 on his life-size marble of the previous year, now in the collection of the musée du Louvre. In 1762, he designed a second bather as a pendant. 'Baigneuse aux roseaux' has often been confused with Simon-Louis Boizot's Baigneuse à l'éponge of 1774. Similar in pose, Boizot's nymph holds a sponge in her hand, truly poised to descend into the water to wash. For a detailed discussion of these models, see Marie-Noëlle Pinot de Villechenon, et. al., Falconet à Sèvres 1757-1766 ou l'art de plaire, exhibition catalogue, 6 November 2001 - 5 February 2002, nos. 6, 95b, 97b.

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