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A Pair of Louis XVI Gilt and Patinated Bronze Sphinx Chenets

A Pair of Louis XVI Gilt and Patinated Bronze Sphinx Chenets

Each with a recumbent winged sphinx with scrolling foliate arabesques to their back, upon a bow-ended rectangular gadrooned plinth, the frieze with a panel applied with entrelacs, on fluted toupie feet. Several models of chenets with sphinx exist, dating from the 1780s. An example with winged sphinxes with headresses and with female mask centering the frieze, attributed to either Pierre Gouthière or Pierre-Philippe Thomire, exists in several versions in the Louvre, Versailles and the Cleveland Museum of Art (see H. Ottomeyer/P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol.I, p.276, fig. 4.11.14.). This model is based on a drawing by the architect François-Joseph Bélanger in the Bibliothèque Nationale, illustrated op. cit., fig. 4.11.13. Another type of sphinx chenet, lacking wings but with similar female mask frieze, is at the château de Versailles, the sphinx modelled by Louis-Simon Boizot, the ciselure by Thomire and the gilding by Claude Galle; they were originally supplied to Marie Antoinette’s Salon des Nobles at Versailles in 1786 (illustrated Ottomeyer and Pröschel op. cit., fig.4.11.17. and also illustrated in Pierre Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris 1987, p.214-5, fig.241-42). See Christie’s sale 9756, New York (26 October 2001), Lot 326, for a similar model which sold $28,200.

Late 18th Century

13 1/2in. high and 13in. deep

Status: Available

Inv Number: #1053

Price: 17500

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