Lot 100
  • 100


20,000 - 30,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Haut. 32 cm ; height 12 2/3 in.
the baluster vase flanked with ram heads, the circular base with acanthus leaves


Sale, Couturier - Nicolay, Paris, 23 June 1978, lot 81


Comparative literature : C. Vignon et C. Baulez, Pierre Gouthière, Ciseleur du Roi, Paris, 2016, p. 190-194

Catalogue Note

These green porphyry vases, called "Antiquity serpentine", prove the affinity for hard stones and others at the end of the 18th century with some renown collectors, including Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and the famous Duke of Aumont ( 1709-1782). The auction of the latter's collection on 12 December 1782 presented a very large number of these vases, mostly mounted with gilt bronzes. During that time, stones were sought from Italy or farther and certain were then cut and polished in the Duke's workshop, constructed within the Menus Plaisir du Roi townhouse on the Faubourg Poissonnière Boulevard. The artifacts were created from drawings by ornamentalists such as the architect-decorator François-Joseph Belanger. The cutting was entrusted to sculptors such as Augustin Bocciard from Genoa (1760-90) or Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Delaplanche from France. And Pierre Gouthière provided bronze mountings for some. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette bought several vases at the Aumont auction, including two pairs of green porphyry urns today in the collections of the Louvre (OA 5719 and OA5178).  

The King opened at Remiremont in the Lorraine region a « Manufacture privilégiée du Roi » specializing in the cutting and carving of hard stones that were then sold in Paris. As noted by Mr. Valmont-Bomare, in Dictionnaire Raisonné Universel D'Histoire Naturelle (natural history dictionary), Paris, 1791 : « We have just opened in Paris the store or depository for rock structures, composed of granite, granite-like marble, jasper, serpentine & porphyry, executed at the King's Manufacture Privileged in Remiront, Lorraine. These works will enable the public to judge the beauty of the minerals; we have chosen the purest forms, drawn based on Antiquity; some have been adapted with gilt bronze fittings, simple, but of good taste, and of the greatest finish for execution. (...) We find in this depository, vases of all shapes, columns, gained supports, pedestals for busts. »