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Antique Pair French Rouge Marble Urns Louis Xv C1860

Antique Pair French Rouge Marble Urns Louis Xv C1860

Antique Pair French Rouge Marble Urns Louis Xv C1860


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About this item

This is a beautiful antique pair of French rouge marble and gilded bronze urns in the Louis XV manner and dating from C1860.

The urns feature marble gadrooned covers with gilt bronze acorn finials on a pieced reeded necks. The pair of high relief mounts are in the form of masks of satyr and have draping coronets of foliage and blooming flowers to the tapering ovoid shaped body.
The figured ormolu stem terminates with a square marble base.

These lovely urns make a statement and will look fantastic flanking a mantel or sideboard. A fabulous antique find of the highest quality and sure to be noticed wherever they are displayed.


In excellent condition having been beautifully restored in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 53 x Width 26 x Depth 26

Dimensions in inches:

Height 1 foot, 9 inches x Width 10 inches x Depth 10 inches

The 'Mask of Satyr' is characteristic of decorative sculpture produced under Louis XIV for the gardens at Versailles and other royal ch teaux. In the last quarter of the 17th century and the early years of the 18th, an enormous quantity of high quality, decorative bronze sculpture was created for the many projects undertaken by the Royal Building Department (Direction generale des Batiments du Roi).

Ormolu (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).


W26.0 x H53.0 x D26.0 cm



Wear condition


Date of manufacture



Late 20th Century




VAT status

Seller is VAT registered


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