Antique Large 76cm Pair of French Gilt Bronze Ewers c.1840

GBP 3,500.00

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Object Description

This is a truly superb large antique pair of ormolu and bronze ewers, circa 1840 in date.

Each with gilded flying scroll handle adorned with a seated cherub. The bulbous body smothered with bacchanalian scenes of grapes, vines, berries, cherubs, a goat and a chariot.

They rest on gilded bronze foliate bases terminating in circular bronze plinths.

The craftsmanship is second to none throughout all aspects of this pair and they are sure to add an unparalleled touch of class to your home.

This superb antique pair of bronze ewers was produced using the traditional lost wax method.

In excellent condition having been expertly cleaned and polished in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 76 x Width 36 x Depth 22

Dimensions in inches:
Height 29.9 x Width 14.2 x Depth 8.7

Ormolu – (from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as ‘gilt bronze’.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).

Lost Wax Method
sometimes called by the French name of cire perdue or the Latin, cera perduta is the process by which a bronze or brass is cast from an artists sculpture.

In industrial uses, the modern process is called investment casting. An ancient practice, the process today varies from foundry to foundry, but the steps which are usually used in casting small bronze sculptures in a modern bronze foundry are generally quite standardised.

Our reference: 08685

Object Details

  • material
  • dimensions
    W:36 x H:76 x D:22 centimeters
  • period
  • country
  • year
    circa 1840

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Manor Warehouse
318 Green Lanes
N4 1BX

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