Lot 623
  • 623

A pair of gilt-bronze-mounted Blue-John Medici vases, French Restauration, circa 1820-1830

40,000 - 60,000 EUR
40,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • spath fluor, gilt bronze
with a leaf frieze, the handles with children playing the flute, the square base with acanthus spandrels; (minor losses and restorations)


Probably Collection of Sir Richard Wallace (1818-1890) after F.J.B. Watson former Director of The Wallace Collection in London


F. J. B. Watson, "The Paris collections of Madame B.", in The Connoisseur. An illustrated magazine for Collectors, London, vol. 155, January-April 1964, p. 81, fig. 16 (ill.)

Catalogue Note

These spectacular Blue-John vases were particularly rare in France during the time of the Restoration and they attest to the anglomania in vogue in France at the first part of the 19th century. Blue-John, originally only from quarries in Derbyshire, England, was a British specialty that did not arrive in France until the early 19th century. This semi-precious stone was appreciated for its translucency and its amethyst colour. The famous British bronze-artist Matthew Boulton specialized in Blue-John objects mounted in gilt-bronze, such as pendulum clocks and candelabra.

Our pair of vases, however, remains very French due to the design of the bronze mounts: the children musicians on the handles are directly inspired by those adorning the wall light model formerly attributed to Pierre Gouthière. A pair of wall lights with this model is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. 975 -1882).