France, transition Louis XV – Louis XVI period
Chased and gilt bronze
- Paper plates, circa 1760, musée Nissim de Camondo, cat. N°213
The base of this paperweight is of chased and gilt bronze with mouldered sinuous shapes and doucine, is surmounted by a set of signs evoking the arts.
We can distinguish a painter palette associated to the painting, a base of flutted column as well as various instruments of architecture, a music sheet, a protractor for geometry and a globe for astronomy.
Intended to prevent the papers to fly, the paperweight was destined to be placed on the flat desks as well as the inkstands and the inkhorns. They offered to the artists the occasion to develop authentic sculptures which weight responded also to the practical requirements of this object. Following the evolution of the shapes just like here with a base which movement announces the developed forms under Louis XVI, it depicts subjects in vogue (dogs, children…) or a link with the taste of the commissioners. This paperweight of allegorical theme thus associates to a set of attributes evoking the science such as a palette, attribute of painting, a column base attribute of architecture, a sheet of music, attribute of music, to instruments of geometry, attributes of this subject, as well as a celestial globe and books to represent science.
Pierre Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, éditions Picard, 1999, p. 139.
Good overall condition. Horizontal crack.