These large tripod-supported Grecian vases, with altar-decorated
bas-reliefs and inscribed prayers to a goddess, would originally have
been conceived as oil-lamps. An example of the collaboration between
Ferdinand Levillain (d.1905), the late 19th century
sculpteur-ornemaniste, and Ferdinand Barbedienne (d.1892), perhaps the most celebrated bronzier of the same era, this model vase was first shown at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1878 (see the Exhibition catalogue illustration opposite). See lot 254 for a further note on Ferdinand Barbedienne.
A pair of parcel-gilt patinated-bronze examples of these vases, signed by both Levillain and Barbedienne, were sold Christie's London, 29 February 1996, lot 24 (£12,000).