Pair of vases

possibly Russian, St. Petersburg with French mounts

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 524

In the second half of the eighteenth-century, French designers sought ever rarer and more exotic materials for decorative objects. This pair of vases, of a granite called orbicular diorite found in both Corsica and the Ural mountains, may have been turned and polished either in Paris or St. Petersburg, where there was a luxury market for hard stone objects. They were then completed in Paris with gilt-bronze mounts including large handles in the form of rams' heads and finials with a knob of berries above acanthus leaves. Objects of this quality were much sought after by collectors and were sometimes especially commissioned by the Parisian dealers called "marchands merciers".

Pair of vases, Orbicular diorite, gilt bronze, possibly Russian, St. Petersburg with French mounts

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