A LARGE PAIR OF NAPOLEON III PERIOD BRONZE EWERS BY VICTOR PAILLARD (FRENCH, 1805-1886)
the ewers of baluster form with long necks and lips cast with bearded masks, the bodies decorated with reliefs of stylised dolphins and garlands formed of shells, the scrolling handles decorated with winged female caryatids, raised on gadrooned socles over Rouge Griotte marble circular plinths, signed ‘Victor Paillard’,
67cm high (2)
A slightly larger pair of bronze ewers of identical form except for the plinth bases were sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 14 April 2008, lot 375, $8000.
Victor Paillard was one of the most highly regarded bronze founders of the mid 19th century. He set up his own firm in the 1830’s at 105 boulevard Beaumarchais and 6 rue Saint-Claude and by the 1850’s was employing over one hundred workers. He exhibited numerous pieces at exhibitions both in England and in France, including numerous bronze clocks in the Salon of 1844, and was appointed as a member of the jury of the Universal Exhibition of 1855 in Paris.That he was sought to cast the massive and prestigious zinc and bronze figure of Queen Victoria for the 1851 Great Exhibition shows the high esteem he was held in. He received many official commissions such as the interior decoration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, and was employed by some of the most famous sculptors of the day to cast their bronzes, such as Pradier, Barye and Carpeaux.