A Large Pair of Empire Vases

attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

Paris, circa 1815


Height: 59,5 cm (23.4 inch)
Diameter: 18 cm (7.1 inch) Ref No: 1605

Provenance: Private collection Villa Hardt, Eltville, Rheingau

A superb pair of Empire gilt bronze vases, each of krater form with grotesque figurines as handles, on a square plinth with pawn feet. The body with finely chased decor of palmettes and garlands, raised on an architectural pedestal, of which each side is embellished with the central head of Baccus within a laurel wreath.

This pair of vases can be attributed to the Parisian bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843). The bronze cast is finely chased with its original matt- and polished gilding.

A detailed view of theses vases is published in ”Vergoldete Bronzen, die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus”, by Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, Volume 1, colour plate XL, page 308.

Pierre-Philippe Thomire, a French sculptor, was the most prominent bronzier, or producer of ornamental patinated and gilt-bronze objects and furniture mounts under the reign of Napoleon. His fashionable neoclassical and Empire style furnishing bronzes established the highest standard in refined finish in the craft that the French called that of the fondeur-ciseleur. Thomire supplied a great number of bronzes to the Imperial Court as well as to the English and Russian aristocracy.