Superb pair of salt cellars or salerons in sterling silver decorated with Eros riding dogs.
The ornamental repertoire of this pair receiving a finely chiselled decoration is composed, on the bodies of salerons surmounted by an openwork frieze crowned with a frieze of water leaves, of Eros carrying quiver slung over the shoulder, riding the hunting dogs held firmly with one hand by the collar, the other hand carrying a flaming torch. The hold is composed of two dog heads covered with necklaces, ending in leafy scrolls, surmounting a capital column decorated with a drape at the top and a frieze of water leaves at the base, resting on an architectural base molding. The column is surrounded by two putti holding a drapery binding them.
The frames receive verrines cut crystal.
"Vieilliard 1er titre" (950/1000, 1819-1838)
"Grosse garantie" of Paris.
Hallmark of goldsmith.
Very good conditions.
As is frequently the case with the goldsmith's work of the Restoration period, we are dealing with a model inspired by the Empire period, whose ornamental repertoire is taken over and slightly modified.
The finesse of the carving and the delicacy of the drawings make it a very fine example of goldsmithery of the first half of the 19th century.
Concerning the symbolism of the ornamental repertoire of this goldsmith's piece, it should be noted that the dog's fidelity to man has made this animal a traditional symbol of fidelity and vigilance. He is often depicted in wedding paintings or portraits to symbolize conjugal fidelity, such as Jan VAN EYCK's ARNOLFINI Portrait (1434, London, National Gallery), the "Family portrait" by Lorenzo LOTTO (1523-1524, St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum), or the "Happy Union" by VERONESE (about 1575, London, National Gallery).
EROS, symbol of love, straddling the dog, symbol of fidelity, held by the necklace, symbol of commitment, is the symbol of love guided by faithfulness-faith commitment. In VERONESE's Wedding Feast at Cana, the two dogs represented under the table of Christ united on the same leash are thus interpreted as an allegory of marriage and fidelity.