Pair of Vases

pair of granite vases on mounted legs made of gilt-bronze, circa 1770

Pair of Vases, ca. 1770–75
Gilt bronze by Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813)
Granite probably carved by Augustin Bocciardi (1719–1797) or Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Delaplanche
After a design by François-Joseph Bélanger (1744–1818)
Green granite, bardiglio, and gilt bronze
Private collection

It was probably an artisan working in Paris under the direction of the architect François-Joseph Bélanger who carved these rare and original vases, with bottoms in the form of a cul-de-lampe, echoing the knob forms on the tops of the lids. Unable to stand, they had to be supported by a mount, which was created by Gouthière after designs by Bélanger.

At the sale of the Duke of Aumont’s collections, the pair was sold to Marie Antoinette. We have no details of their royal journey, except that they appeared in 1793 at the Muséum du Louvre. They reappear at an auction sale in Paris in 1837, where they were acquired by the Duke of Cambacérès, Peer of France and future grand master of ceremonies to Napoleon III, before passing through several private collections in France and the United States.

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