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David Roentgen's Automaton of Queen Marie Antoinette, The Dulcimer Player (La Joueuse de Tympanon)

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Candelabra (one of a pair)

Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764–1843, active ca. 1796–1819)

Designer:
Charles Percier (French, Paris 1764–1838 Paris)
Designer:
Pierre François Léonard Fontaine (French, Pontoise 1762–1853 Paris)
Date:
1794–1814
Culture:
French (Paris)
Medium:
Silver gilt
Dimensions:
Each H. 20-5/8 in. (52.4 cm.)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1934
Accession Number:
34.17.3a–d
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: [1](engraved under each foot) Biennais / Orfre de S.M. / l'Empereur et Roi / à Paris
    [2](scratched under base .2, possible inventory number): 1632 24
    [3](scratched under base .3, possible inventory number): 1631 24 or 1651 24

    Marking: [1] B, 2 pellets, a monkey above, in a vertical lozenge (maker's mark)
    [2] Head of Apollo with 1, in an oval (unofficial quality mark for first standard silver, 1794-97)
    [3] Cock with 1, in horizontal octagon (Paris mark for first standard silver, 1809-1819)
    [4] Head of Minerva, in a circle (Paris medium excise mark for silver, 1809-1819)
    [5] Fasces with ax blade at center left (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1809-1819)

    Location of marks:
    [1], [2] on main shaft, each branch and under base of each
    [3], [4] on center nozzle, rim of base, and sockets of bobêches of each
    [5] on central shaft and branches of each

  • Provenance

    Princes Borghese (ca. 1803?–1892; sale, Palazzo Borghese, Rome, March 28– April 9, 1892, no. 24); Don Antonio Licata, Prince of Baucina (from 1892; sold to Canessa) ; Ercole Canessa , Naples, Italy (after 1892–before 1924) ; Edith Rockefeller McCormick (by 1924–34; sale, American Art Association-Anderson Galleries, New York, January 2–6, 1934, nos. 703); [ Les Fils de Léon Helft , 1934; sold to MMA ]

  • See also
237235

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