A pair of gilt-bronze and red jasper urns, Paris, possibly by Beurdeley circa 1870
Daniel Alcouffe et al, Gilt-bronzes in the Louvre, 2004, Dijon, p. 96-97, no. 44 (inv. MR XI 2818).
The exceptional quality of bronze work on this pair of vases supports a possible attribution to Alfred Beurdeley, who was well known for his influential connections and access to the finest collections. Inspired by work of the 18th century he supplied many rich and distinguished clients with similar pieces. His work is often unsigned and on account of the use of traditional techniques it is sometimes mistaken for period work.
There is the an 18th century porphyry vase and cover in the Louvre, which must have inspired the maker of this pair, carved with similar handles and with some related mounts, illustrated by Alcouffe, op. cit., p. 96-97, no. 44. The Louvre vase could well have belonged to the Marquis de Marigny (the brother of madame du Pompadour), and the director of the Bâtiments du Roi during Louis XV's reign. There is a portrait of Marigny painted by Alexander Roslin in 1761, which is now at Versailles, showing a similar vase in the background. The 18th century vase was acquired by the Crown in 1779 and recorded in the inventory of the Louvre in 1807.