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Very nice pair of andirons in gilded bronze . The sphinxes are lying on an oblong gilt bronze base. This is, on the front, applied with a mask of Apollo decorated with laurels inscribed in foliage and, on the sides, with a radiant star. 
They rest on four tapered legs with twisted gadroons. 

Very beautiful cast iron from the first third of the 19th century. 
Nice original gilding, some wear. 

Attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, who marketed this model from the end of the 18th century until the Restoration. 
Subsequently, bronziers (like Dasson) reproduced this same model. 

This pair of andirons is a tribute to Louis XIV and his famous cabinetmaker and bronzier André-Charles Boulle. It was he who was the first to apply gilt bronze to cabinetmaking. 
These sphinxes are a tribute to the pair of chests of drawers, the first in history. Delivered for the King in 1708. At the four corners are applied - in the style of the espagnolettes - busts of sphinxes, symbol of power. 
The feet of our andirons, with twisted gadroons, are the same as those of the King's commodes. 
Finally, the mask of Apollo and the stars, the radiant stars, a direct reference to the Sun King.

Several models of andirons with sphinxes exist, dating from the 1780s. The Louvre, Versailles and the Cleveland Museum of Art display several versions of winged sphinxes with similar headdresses and a similar female mask centered on the frieze, attributed either to Pierre Gouthière or to Pierre-Philippe Thomire.

Bibliography:
- (see H. Ottomeyer/P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 276, fig. 4.11.4.). This model is based on a drawing by the architect François-Joseph Bélanger at the National Library, illustrated op. cit. fig. 4.11.13.

-G. and R. Wannenes, Ornamental bronzes and mounted objects from Louis XIV to Napoleon III, Milan, 2004, p. 282.


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Thomire, pair andirons with sphinxes, early 19th century.

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  • DIMENSIONS

    Width  29 cm
    Height 23cm

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