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72
An Austrian blue-enamelled, rhinestones and gilt-bronze decorative vase, circa 1770-1780, adorned with the cypher MA and attributed to Ignaz Joseph Würth 
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 168,750 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
72
An Austrian blue-enamelled, rhinestones and gilt-bronze decorative vase, circa 1770-1780, adorned with the cypher MA and attributed to Ignaz Joseph Würth 
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 168,750 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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An Austrian blue-enamelled, rhinestones and gilt-bronze decorative vase, circa 1770-1780, adorned with the cypher MA and attributed to Ignaz Joseph Würth 
chiselled with entrelacs, flutes, laurel garlands and acanthus leaves, the blue-enamelled medallion adorned with brilliants forming the cypher MA, the stem applied with fleurs-de-lys shape brilliants, on a tripod base with claw feet and pedestal
Haut. 41 cm, larg. 21 cm ; height 16 1/4 in., width 8 1/4 in.
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Provenance

This urn could be "l'urne avec la médaille de Marianne" offered by Marie-Anna of Austria to her sister Marie-Antoinette, future Queen of France

Catalogue Note

The Würth dynasty, concurrently goldsmiths, bronze artists and jewelers, brought many craftsmen to serve the Vienna Court. Among them, Ignaz Joseph Würth (1742-1792) was particularly solicited by the Imperial family. He was the creator of the silver service, a true Neoclassical manifesto, given by Maria Theresa to her daughter Maria Christina and her husband Albert, Duke of Saxe-Teschen.

 

The union in May 1770 of the future King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette definitively linked Würth family's fate to the French court. Among other items, including a voluminous dowry, the young Archduchess took with her a sumptuous devotional object, a silver and vermeil sanctuary lamp executed by Ignaz Sebastian Würth, cousin of Ignaz Joseph, celebrating both the Habsburg dynasty and the Franco-Austrian alliance crowned by this marriage (today held in the Cathedral of Fribourg-en-Brisgau ; cf. Wolfram Koeppe, Vienna circa 1780, An Imperial Silver Service Rediscovered, New York, 2010, p.15, fig. 9).

 

During the following years, many presents were sent to her from Austria by her family. The correspondence maintained by the Empress Maria Theresa and the Count of Mercy-Argenteau (published in Paris in 1874 by A. Geffroy and A. von Arneth) often mentions gifts destined for Marie Antoinette from the court of Vienna. For example on the 19 April, 1774, the Austrian Ambassador mentions the diamond carnation offered to the Dauphine by the Empress-Queen (II, 131). When the latter died in 1780, Louis XVI and his wife received this important legacy, consisting mainly of lacquered boxes and petrified wood objects from the personal collection of Maria Theresa (see C. Baulez, « Notes sur quelques meubles et objets d'art des appartements intérieurs de Louis XVI et Marie-Antoinette », La Revue du Louvre 5/6, 1978). The petrified wooden vases that the Empress had specifically intended for her son-in-law were mounted in gilt bronze by Ignaz Joseph Würth (Château de Versailles, inv. T517 C).

 

From the time of Marie-Antoinette's beginnings at Versailles, a letter from her mother dated 1st November 1770 tells Mercy-Argenteau that the Dauphine's older sisters, the Archduchesses Maria Christina and Maria Anna had sent her (no doubt for her birthday celebrated the following day) first, a petrified wood gueridon (the one mounted in steel and gilt bronze by the Austrian caster Anton Domanöck, housed at Versailles inv. 4324), and the second, an "urn with the medallion of Marianne "(t.l, p. 82). We do not know what this urn is made of, however that Maria Anna (also called Marianna by her family) and Marie-Antoinette had the same initials.

 

The collection of artworks belonging to the Queen is partly known due to the inventory drawn up by Daguerre and Lignereux in October 1789, with the intention to store them safely after the royal family's departure from Versailles. The objects were still in depository with two dealers Nitot and Besson, also members of the Commission for the Arts, in December 1793. They inspected the crates containing the Queen's collection and noted the many lacquer boxes inherited from Maria Theresa, but also a number of "furniture and jewelry, made in Vienna, [...] mounted in gold, vermeil or gilt bronze" (in A. Tuetey, « Inventaire des laques anciennes et des objets de curiosité de Marie-Antoinette confiés à Daguerre et Lignereux, Marchands-Bijoutiers le 10 octobre 1789 (26 frimaire an II) », Archives de l'Art Français, t. VIII, 1916, p. 288 and 296).

 

However, art historians like Marguerite Jallut consider that the storage entrusted to Daguerre and Lignereux represents only one part of Marie-Antoinette's collections and that "other objects were entrusted to reliable people, who kept the secret" (in M. Jallut, « Les collections de Marie-Antoinette », Arts asiatiques, t. XX, 1969, p. 209).

 

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