This centrepiece garniture was crafted in the 19th Century in Italy. The two bronzed metal items are identically designed, in an expressive and classically-inspired late Renaissance style.
The items take the form of U-shaped, ship-like vessels, with figures seated on their ends, serving as figureheads. These include a nude, bearded man, who frowns and raises his right arm, while pointing with his left, down below to the keel of the ship. On the other side of each vessel, there sits a defiant-looking nude woman, with a nude child on her lap.
These U-shaped vessels are decorated with symmetrical, scrolling foliage and strapwork. These designs frame central cartouches, which contain sun-burst motifs, with classical masks at their centre.
Mythical figures carry the vessels on their stooped backs. On both items, these include two mermen, who are seated back-to-back. One figure raises his right arm to point up to the man seated above. These figures ride sea monsters across a scrolling, wave-like base. Young, nude boys sit between them on multi-layered clam shells. The group sits on a shaped, oval base, which is edged with dentil mouldings.
These large, bronzed metal vessels will look beautiful placed at the centre of a dining room table, on pedestals, or on a mantelpiece. They will add character and liveliness to an interior.