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Details & Cataloguing

19th & 20th Century Sculpture

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London

Charles Raphael Peyre
1872-1949
FRENCH
FONS AMORIS (FOUNTAIN OF LOVE)
the marble signed: Ch Raphael Peyre and the gilt lead signed: Ch. R. Peyre.
white marble, gilt lead, lead, and gold and blue glass tesserae
232 by 126cm., 91 1/4  by 49 5/8 in. overall
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Provenance

Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji, Kt. and Lady Bomanji, The Willows, Windsor, and subsequently at Pineheath House, Harrogate;
thence by family descent;
Christie's London, 6 March 2014, lot 221;
there acquired by the present owners

Catalogue Note

This impressive fountain group was carved by the fashionable French sculptor Charles Raphaël Peyre, who trained under Alexandre Falguière and Antonin Mercié, two of the leading sculptors of the 19th century. Peyre exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon, of which he was a member from 1900, winning numerous awards (Bénézit, op. cit., vol. 10, p. 828). The dazzling combination of white marble, gilt lead, and mosaic, in the present group, reflect the taste for polychromed sculpture at the time Peyre was working, and recall aspects of the Art Nouveau movement. Interestingly, when the present sculpture was sold in 2014, it was accompanied by a photograph from Peyre, inscribed: Ch. Raphaël Peyre Salon de 1923 and Reproduction, acquire par la Ville de Paris, giving the title of the sculpture as: Fons - Amoris. It would thus appear that another version of the sculpture was acquired by the city of Paris.

The present marble was formerly owned by Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji, Kt. and his wife Lady Bomanji, Indian industrialists with homes in Bombay, Windsor and Harrogate. After her husband's death, Lady Bomanji resided in the family home in the elegant Yorkshire Spa town of Harrogate, where this sculpture was eventually placed. Before the house was sold in 2013, it was said to resemble a time warp from the 1920's, a relic of a lost era. Lady Bomanji was a major figure in the social life of Harrogate and was affectionately known by its townsfolk as 'Lady Harrogate'. A sculpture from the Bomanji collection was donated to the town, and now sits in its main square, outside the famous Betty's tearooms.

RELATED LITERATURE
E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintures sculptures dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays par un group d'écrivains spécialistes français et étrangers, Paris, 1999, vol. 10,  p. 828

19th & 20th Century Sculpture

|
London