Offered by Richard Redding Antiques
Leading antique and fine art gallery, specialises in the finest French clocks.
A very fine Empire gilt and patinated bronze fender of rectangular form, each of the plinths surmounted by a patinated bronze winged female nude with coiled hair and her arms and hands outstretched as if she was warming herself on a fire, each figure is seated on a backward scrolled antique seat that is decorated with foliate scrolls and has a drape hanging from its back, each seat placed on a gilt and patinated bronze rectangular stepped plinth, mounted at centre with a Medusa mask head set within a diamond shaped frame amid scrolling arabesques, the plinths placed at either end of an adjoining frieze with pierced interlocking circles that are studded at centre by rosettes
Paris, date circa date circa 1815-20
Width 132 cm, height 36 cm.
This beautiful fender features many decorative elements that made up the Empire style. Among them are many references to antiquity such as the Greco-Roman antique style chairs with their distinctive scrolled backs as well as the Medusa masks on the plinths and the winged female figures who with their outstretched hands appear to be warming themselves beside the fireside. Such seated figures recall a model, known as L’Étude, modelled by the sculptor Simon-Louis Boizot (1743-1809), which was adapted for use in many late eighteenth and early nineteenth century decorative bronze objects, from candelabra, clocks and oil lamps. The renowned Empire bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) was one such craftsman who successfully exploited the model and featured adaptations of it when creating bronze oil lamps. Given the quality and finesse of the present fender, it was undoubtedly made by one of the leading Parisian bronziers of the era, such as Thomire or one of his illustrious contemporaries such as Pierre-François Feuchère (1737-1823).