Excellent and rare Pair of 18th Century Louis XVI Gilt Bronze Firedogs / Andirons or Chenets with Putti representing Mars and Venus
On a rectangular balustrade-shaped base, with a neoclassical openwork medallion frieze, a boy and a girl figure in a resting position facing each other, identified by their attributes as Mars (shield) and Venus (lovebirds). To the right or to the left of the balustrade zone a festoon and paterae-decorated rectangular pedestal with a crowning classical urn vase featuring rams heads, festoons and a final pine cone. Excellent chasing and fire gilding.
The model of this pair of andirons or chenets is probably based on designs by the sculptor, bronzer and designer Jean-Louis Prieur the Elder. (1732-1795). In particular the classical balustrade-like structure with a neoclassical vase and children’s figures resting on it, as well as their physiognomy and the excellent workmanship displayed here, suggest an origin of the pair in the workshop of J.-L. Prieur or its immediate surroundings. An andiron with a very similar composition can be found in the Petit Trianon in Versailles.
Compare: Ottomeyer/Pröschel: Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, 2 volumes, vol. I, p. 199, fig. 3.14.7 and p. 274, fig. 4.11.9
Condition: very good, min. wear constistent with age and use, min. wear, 1 foot slightly deformed at the back (see photo) – detailed condition report on request