Two French Louis XVI style lapis lazuli and gilt bronze vases

GBP 9,500.00

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Object Description

With their refined, Neoclassical overall form and ornament, these vases are clearly inspired by the style of decorative arts produced in France during the reign of Louis XVI (1774-1792). Partly in a reaction against the excesses of the Rococo, the Louis XVI style was characterised by its restrained use of ancient Roman and Greek forms.

In their shape, these vases appear to be inspired by Greek loutrophoros, which had oval bodies and tall necks with two handles, and were used for storing water. These vases are crafted from the blue gemstone, lapis lazuli (a later addition) and mounted with gilt bronze (ormolu).

The lapis lazuli, ovoid vases feature tall necks, with slightly flared mouths, which are topped by gilt bronze lids and pointed finials. The necks are mounted with foliate, gilt bronze bands, which are attached to geometric, gilt bronze handles. These handles are surmounted by small, gilt bronze pinecone finials, and are linked by gilt bronze foliage swags, which are draped across the lapis vase bodies. The handles terminate in foliate flourishes, and are secured to the lapis bodies by gilt bronze bands, decorated with shell and wave patterns. The lapis vases stand on gilt bronze feet, with foliate-topped stems, and circular bases. These bases are ornamented with beading and leafy patterns, and each is set on four block-like feet.

Object Details

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