PAIR OF EMPIRE ORMOLU AND ENAMEL EWERS, probably Russian
Possibly by Friedrich Bergenfeldt, circa 1810
Each with an ovoid body enameled with stars, with Pegasus-formed handles terminating above ram heads,
the ormolu collar molded with winged mythical creatures feeding leopards, mounted on grey marble round bases atop red marble square bases
Height 20 3/8 in. (51,7 cm)
Excellent detail and quality. Areas of some rubbing and spotting to gilding, but overall gilding is well preserved. Small to tiny scattered chips to the upper edges of the marble round and square bases. Overall very good condition considering age.
These ewers are closely related to the works of Claude Galle (1759 – 1815), examples of which are illustrated in H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, figs. 5.12.6, 5.12.8 and 5.12.9, pp. 364 – 365. These vases and ewers all bear slender elongated figural handles, mostly in the form of winged maidens rather than the more unusual Pegasus figures employed on the present pair. The use of enamel on these ewers is also extremely rare; typically these types of vases and ewers were either made of patinated bronze and ormolu, or simply ormolu.
These ewers also relate to Russian bronze examples that were strongly influenced by the work of Claude Galle. A pair of Russian vases, attributed to Friedrich Bergenfeldt (1768 – 1822), the celebrated Russian bronzier working in St. Petersburg, are illustrated in I. Sychev, Russian Bronze, Moscow, 2003, pp. 96 – 97. The surface treatment of the ormolu on the offered ewers as well as enameled surface would indicate that they are probably rather Russian than French. A related vase with many of the same elements attributed to Claude Galle, but possibly also by Bergenfeldt, is in the collections of the Villa Hardt, Eltville, Schloss Ludwigsburg and the Musée Massena, Nice (H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel, op. cit, p. 365, fig. 5.12.11).
A very similar pair of ewers (different bases) in not nearly as good condition sold on January 19, 2017 at Christie’s, New York: Palmetto Hall: The Jay P. Altmayer Family Collection, lot 214
Item Nr. 5244 (Ormolu and enamel ewers, possibly Russian)