These truly exceptional and rare antique Louis XVI period vases have been sculpted from agate, a precious and highly sought-after stone. The vases are set on square agate bases with gilt bronze laurel wreath socles. The burgundy and claret agate bodies of the vases are mounted with gilt bronze acanthus leaf ornamentation, and twin lion masks joined by draped swags above. The lids of the vases are mounted with gilt bronze, surmounted by pine cone finials.
The vases’ design is attributed to the late 18th Century French clockmaker Martin Baffert. Baffert worked with a number of Parisian bronziers including Jean-Nicholas Fremont, Nicolas-Guillaume Jourdan and Francois-Robert Leguel, who assisted in the creation of his designs. This pair of vases is very similar to another pair of vases which Baffert designed, which form part of a clock garniture currently in the Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor. The Rothschild vases feature similar ormolu mounts with lion masks and drapery, and similarly shaped bodies sculpted from alabaster.