The unusual Paris excise mark with the numeral 85, reversed and inverted either side of a man's head is found on a number of pieces hallmarked between 1798-1809. It appears in conjunction with a first standard mark of a standing cockerel flanked by A and 1. These pieces include work by both Biennais and Odiot (see for example Faith Dennis, Three Centuries of French Domestic Silver, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1960, pp. 42-43, cat. nos. 60-63, and p. 92, cat. no. 265)
A very similar gilt-bronze verrière is in the collection of the Musé des Arts decoratifs, Paris (illustrated by J-M. Pinçon and O. Gaube du Gers, Odiot l'Orfèvre, 3 Siécles d'Histoire d'Art & de Créations, Paris, 1990, p. 91, fig. 1360). The various applied scenes and masks around the body were frequently repeated by the firm of Odiot on differing forms over a number of years. For example the figure of the infant Bacchus riding on the panther holding a thyrsus and tazza, appears on a tea-caddy from a magnificent travelling service made for the Emperor Napoleon, as well as a teapot made approximately twenty years later.
The design is listed in the Odiot records book, no 361 and is described as;
Design no 361
'Dessin au crayon pour une corbeille ovale á fond plat sur quatre griffes basses pour servir de rafraichissoit verres".
La piéce du Museé des Arts Décoratifs fait partie des 30 pièces presentes en 1823 au Museé du Luxembourg'
This design by Cavelier was commissioned by le Duc Pozzodi Borgo in 1820.
We are grateful to Olivier Gaube du Gers for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.