Style Neo-Renaissance / Ref.14992
Dragons ewers in gilded and silvered bronze.
Width: 5'' ⅞ 15cm
Height: 13'' ¾ 35cm
France, 19th century.
In perfect condition.
Made out of gilt-bronze and silver, this pair of Neo-Renaissance style decorative ewers bear a slim shape, with a paunch with an original shape. In fact, the curved paunch is constricted in the middle to enhance what would otherwise be an object with an unoriginal shape. In fact, this pair of ewers is inspired by the Renaissance ewers made out of Gold and other precious metals, supported by a foot, and equipped with a spout and an Anse handle. The Anse handle is decorated with an open winged and scary dragon. His tail winds around the Anse handle, a feature, often found on Renaissance style ewers. At the upper part of the Anse handle, there is a Mascaroon featuring the head of a bearded man with rams' horns. This grotesque feature has been very popular in the decorative arts ever since the rediscovery of these antique features during the 16th century by Raphaël. The paunch supports the rich decor above and below. In the lower part, encased motifs in the shape of cabochons shelter ornaments imitating cabochons made out of precious stone. This feature of cabochons comes from the ornamental features of the bellifontaine Renaissance. The presence of imitations of cabochons demonstrates the similarity of the decor with that used in the silverware business.In the upper part of the paunch, foliage and acanthus leaves decorate the paunch's surface by using a technique of curves and counter curves. This foliage shelters lots of little animals, made out of silver-plated bronze. There is a lizard, a goose, a shrew, and an owl. This feature of inhabited foliage is somewhat reminiscent of the ornamental features used in Islamic art. This quantity of references to past or foreign styles is a clear example of the Eclecticism used in the decorative arts during the 19th century. On these ewers, each space that does not feature décor is roughened, a technique that is normally only found on wood or stone. Thanks to this technique, these objects catch the light in an extraordinary way. These ewers are supported by a four-footed curved base, once again inspired by cabochons and from which protrudes winged lions' heads. These ewers are characteristic of the art of decorative bronze under Naopléon III. During the artistic exuberance of this period, very grand purely decorative ewers reappeared, like the ones we are showing here. This decorative use of bronze is often used in Renaissance ewers made out of Gold and other precious metals or antique Italian Renaissance ewers, also made out of Gold and other precious metals. Thus, this period revives precious arts, which is best expressed in the bronze work.
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