Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen C. Hilbert: Important French and English Furniture


Sale Title The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen C. Hilbert: Important French and English Furniture
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Location New York, Rockefeller Plaza Sale Date SESSION 1 24 May 07 10:00 AM.
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Lot Number 23 - Sale Number N08383
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A FINE PAIR OF EMPIRE ORMOLU AND CUT-GLASS SWEETMEAT DISHES AND A MATCHING ORMOLU AND CUT-GLASS TAZZA CIRCA 1815-20, SIGNED THOMIRE A PARIS 12,000—18,000 USD
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MEASUREMENTS
measurementsheights 14 in.; 10 1/4 in.; diameters 8 3/4 in.; 10 3/4 in. alternate measurements 35.5 cm; 26 cm; 22 cm; 27 cm
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DESCRIPTION
the sweetmeat dishes with two graduated circular bowls supported by a baluster-shaped leaf-cast ormolu standard surmounted by a ring, raised on S-scrolled supports above a concave-sided base; the tazza with a cut-glass bowl above matching S-scrolled supports and a flared leaf-cast socle and circular base. 3 pieces.
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Pierre-Philippe Thomire 1751-1843, was one of the most important bronziers of the ancien régime and the post-revolutionary period. Trained as a sculptor, Thomire worked in the workshop of Pierre Gouthière before establishing his own business in 1775. Shortly thereafter, Thomire assisted Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis, who was the artistic director of the Sèvres manufactory. When he died in 1783, Thomire was awarded the appointment and he supplied all the ormolu mounts which were required for certain pieces made at Sèvres. It was this work which helped him to survive the Revolution, a period when many other bronziers fell into bankruptcy. Thanks to the dissolution of the guild system after the Revolution, Thomire was able to greatly expand his business and he sold not only Sèvres porcelain with his inimicable mounts, but also all manner of bronzes d'ameublement as well as furniture.
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PROVENANCE
Galerie Camoin, Paris
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CATALOGUE NOTE
The design of overlapping foliate motifs appears on other comparable pieces by Thomire, see a pair of sweetmeat dishes fitted with three tiers above a group of putti, illustrated, Ottomeyer, Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, Vol. I, p. 387, pl. 5.16.13. These are part of a complete "surtout de table." An ormolu tazza, also by Thomire, incorporates the same design of overlapping foliage, illustrated, Ottomeyer, op. cit. p. 386, pl. 5.16.10. See also identical baluster-shaped, fluted and leaf-cast supports on a two-tier sweetmeat dish in Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, ibid. p. 385, pl. 5.16.8.