Washstand (athénienne or lavabo)

Design attributed to Charles Percier French
Gilt bronze mounts by Martin-Guillaume Biennais French

Not on view

This lavabo or athénienne has the form of an antique tripod and is one of two copies made by Biennais (the other is at Fontainebleau) of the washstand now in the Louvre, which was made for Napoleon between 1800 and 1804. Elegant gilt-bronze swans with outstretched wings at the top of the legs support the ring to hold a silver-gilt washbasin, now missing. A matching ewer was originally placed on the middle shelf. Percier’s drawing for the model is in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Washstand (athénienne or lavabo), Design attributed to Charles Percier (French, Paris 1764–1838 Paris), Legs, base and shelf of yew wood; gilt-bronze mounts; iron plate beneath shelf, French, Paris

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