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A.Brault, Manufacture de Choisy - le - Roy
Pair of fire pots
Around 1880

H.108 - L.70 - P.52 cm

Pair of elegantly sized terracotta fire pots. Rococo style with scalloped patterns, the vases combine curves and counter-curves with a composition full of asymmetrical movements. Adorned at their peak with a stylized flame, as well as two heads of satyrs as handles, they develop the rhetoric specific to Rococo semantics: the daring composition, the motifs in C and in shells; the foot winding like an olive tree trunk with interesting flexibilities giving the impression that the material loses its consistency to harmonize with the lianas and garlands which wind up to the top of the vase. This taste for bypassed shapes and rococo ornamentation is found here: this piece of pure garnish intended to frame the perspective of a garden or to crown the ridge of a building is representative of an update of the taste for the baroque at the end of the 19th century, and which will last until the Belle Epoque. Also the decorative repertoire used calls for a whole bestiary and a network of stylistic inventions which hold a prominent place in the 17th century. As such, the formulas used by Juste Aurèle Meissonnier are one of the most excellent extravagances in his silversmiths' achievements and his decorative proposals, which show the relevance of a multidimensional plasticity, thus conferring a remarkable dynamic unity to his works which will influence artists such as Habermann in Germany. Indeed, the French advance in decoration was resumed, and developed with a consummate happiness in central and northern Europe where the flamboyance of rococo will be equaled only by the level of execution of projects requiring craftsmen, engravers, designers, an immense talent to signify and breathe life into the material. In this sense, our pair of fire pots bears the double mark of this style, seeing the appearance at its peak of patterns such as rounded angles being lost in infinite interlacings forcing the spiral, ceilings with large grooves, and objects with fanciful outlines giving them a lively, almost organic character. It is all this tension in the cohesion of forms that the pair of fire pot vases illustrates here: without losing their grace, they achieve a mastery that seems to endow the object with a centrifugal force.

Good condition, beautiful patina.

A.Brault, choisy-Le-Roy factory, fire pots, terracotta, 19th century


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