An Important Pair of Three Branch Candelabra in Ormolu Mounted Celadon Vases Attributed to Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy

Height: 24¼ 61.5cm
Origination: English
Circa: 1810

Each with a grey vase-shaped body with a seraphim on each side, below milled collars and acanthus crown framing a basket issuing scrolling foliate branches with foliate-wrapped nozzles and beaded drip-pans, with a berried finial, on three scrolled lotus-leaf feet and a turned stepped base with white marble plinth.

Provenance

Almost certainly supplied to Edward, Viscount Lascelles (d. 1814) for Harewood House, London or Harewood House, Yorkshire, and by descent at Harewood to
The Earl of Harewood and H.R.H. The Princess Royal, Harewood House, sold in Christies London, 28th June 1951, lot 15.

Mrs Whitbread, Southill, Bedfordshire

Sold, Christies London 5th April 2001 Lot 390

Private Collection, England

 

Literature

  1. Musgrave, Regency Furniture 1800-1830, London, 1961, pl. 6 (shown in situ in Mrs. Whitbread’s Room at Southill from the Regency Exhibition).

Exhibited

Brighton, The Royal Pavilion, 1951, The Regency Exhibition.

The Grecian vase-candelabra of marbled crackle-glazed Chinese Celadon are supported on marble plinths, and are enriched with bronze and ormolu in the eclectic French fashion adopted in the early l9th Century by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (d. 1854 ) in his role as ‘Furniture man’ to George, Prince of Wales, later George IV.
Symbolising abundance and harvests in antiquity, they display the thyrsus wands of the wine-deity Bacchus, which emerge from acanthus-wrapped grape-baskets together with palm-wrapped branches bearing laurel-wreathed krater vases. Reeded ribbons wreath the bottle-shaped vases, whose tripod feet of trussed palms stand on stepped altar plinths, while the vases themselves appear to be borne by multi-winged zephyrs, and these emerge from the acanthus-flowers that are reed-tied at the sides. These puffing West winds derive from a pattern introduced in the 1770s for Louis XVI marble tripod cassolette perfume-burners by Parisian marchands-merciers (they feature, for instance, on a pair of marble cassolettes illustrated O. Kjellberg, Objets montés du Moyen Age à nos Jours, Paris, 2000, p. 158).

This pair of porcelain vases is likely to have been acquired by Edward, Viscount Lascelles (d. 1814) from the celebrated Bond Street porcelain and furniture dealer Robert Fogg of Golden Square, who served as the Prince of Wales’s China-man (English Ceramic Circle, vol. 16, part 2, 1997, p. 204 and M. Mauchline, Harewood House, Ashbourne, 1992, p. 114). They formed part of a large collection of vases that are likely to have been acquired by Edward Lascelles and mounted by the Vulliamy firm of Pall Mall to serve as garnitures for chimneypieces etc. at Harewood House in Hanover Square, London, which had been purchased in 1795. Among the collection now displayed at Harewood House, Yorkshire are three vases that were mounted for him by Vulliamy in 1806 (The Earl of Harewood, Harewood House, Guidebook 1998, pp. 38-39). A Mr. Lascelles was also invoiced by Vulliamy in December 1807 for ‘Mounting a pair of Sea green bottles’, after they had been drilled by Fogg, while, in 1808 the Hon. Lord Lascelles was invoiced for the mounting of a large crackled jar, which had been supplied by Fogg. It was gilded by Seagrave and mounted by Walker, with marble supplied by Smith (Vulliamy records in the Public Record Office, London). Among the crackle-ware vases surviving at Harewood House, Yorkshire is a pair with ram heads and related acanthus calix (G. de Bellaigue, ‘Samuel Parker and the Vulliamys, purveyors of gilt bronze’, The Burlington Magazine, January 1997, pp. 26-38, fig. 66).

 

 

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