12 December 2000
A PAIR OF BRONZE ANDIRONS WITH SEATED FIGURES OF VENUS AND VULCAN
FRENCH, EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Each on an integrally cast foliate bronze base open at the reverse and with four legs.
Warm brown patina; repaired casting flaw to one.
15¼ and 153/8 in. (38.7 and 39 cm.) high, each (2)
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H.Ottomeyer & P.Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol.I, p.113, fig. 2.4.5.).
Andirons (or chenets) were a common decorative feature for 18th century fireplaces. Here the goddess of Love is represented in her traditional role of tending to her aged husband, the fire-god, who holds the bellows of his forge. These figures may derive from the original model by Jacques Caffieri now in the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle (Ottomeyer and Pröschel, loc.cit.). Other examples of these figures - albeit with different bases - have appeared several times on the art market.
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