Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Twelve-light torchère (one of a pair)

Maker:
Pierre Philippe Thomire (French, Paris 1751–1843 Paris)
Date:
ca. 1840
Culture:
French
Medium:
Malachite veneered on copper, patinated bronze, gilt bronze
Dimensions:
Overall: 8 ft. 6 in. × 16 7/8 in. × 16 7/8 in. (259.1 × 42.9 × 42.9 cm)
Classification:
Natural Substances
Credit Line:
Gift of Rodman A. Heeren, 1964
Accession Number:
64.163.2a–d
Not on view
This urn and its companion, 64.163.1, are copies of a marble vase, known as the Medici vase, which is thought to have been made during the second half of the first century A.D. The brilliant green mineral called malachite which forms the surface of these torchères was mined in Russia, probably in the region of the Ural mountains 1500 miles to the east of Moscow. Factories were set up near the mines, where Russian workmen cut the malachite fragments into thin sheets and applied them to shaped metal forms. During the nineteenth century, these forms were sent in considerable numbers to Paris where they were enhanced by gilt-bronze mounts from such firms as Thomire et Compagnie. The museum has a much larger malachite vase with gilt-bronze mounts also signed by Thomire and dated 1819 (44.152a, b).
Signature: Stamped on the lowest gilt-bronze band: THOMIRE A PARIS
Rodman A. de Heeren (until 1964; to MMA)
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