Ronald Phillips, Ltd.
Warwick Castle 'Caryatic' Candle Vase- Price Upon Request
THE WARWICK CASTLE ‘CARYATIC’ CANDLE VASE A GEORGE III ORMOLU MOUNTED 'CLIFF BLUE VEIN' BLUE JOHN CANDLE VASE BY MATTHEW BOULTON A highly important mid 18th century 'cliff blue vein' blue john and ormolu mounted ‘Caryatic’ candle vase by Matthew Boulton, the body with a pierced rim above swags of fruit and a cover of later date, the sides with a pair of caryatids, each supporting a twin-branch naturalistic candle arm with leaf decorated candle holders and drip pans, the vase supported on a blue john ormolu mounted trumpet-shaped column, this on an ebony veneered ormolu mounted stepped plinth, terminating in the original ormolu ball feet. Note: Similar examples are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the distinguished collection of Jon Gerstenfeld, Washington, D.C. English, circa 1770 Height: 22 ¼ in; 56.5 cm Width: 18 ¾ in; 47.5 cm Base: 8 ¼ in; 21 cm Provenance: The Earls of Warwick, Warwick Castle, and probably supplied to George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick (1746-1816); Ronald Phillips Ltd., London; Private collection, England. Illustrated: Country Life magazine, 6. June 1914, in situ at Warwick Castle in the Cedar Room. Literature: Edward Lennox-Boyd (ed.), Masterpieces of English Furniture; The Gerstenfeld Collection, 1998, p. 178; an example of identical design. Nicholas Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, 2002, p. 325. Illustrated: Warwick Castle - II. Warwickshire, The seat of the Earl of Warwick, article signed 'F', Country Life, Vol. XXXV, issue 909, 6 June 1914, p.848. The Antique Collector Magazine, December 1954, p.217. This vase is almost certainly referred to in the 4 November 1809 inventory of Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, which describes in the Yellow Bedroom ‘A Derbyshire Pedestal and urn with four branches’. This item is further mentioned in a December 1924 inventory entitled ‘Articles in Warwick Castle of National or Historical interest’, which lists in the Cedar Drawing Room: ‘20in Ormolu mounted Blue John Vase and Cover surmounted by a brass knob, two terminal female figures supporting two light candelabra, on four knob feet.’ In 1770, Matthew Boulton sold at Messrs Christie’s and Ansell’s four ‘Caryatic’ vases, three of which had blue john bodies, while the fourth was entirely in ormolu. They were described as ‘lined with silver and perforated for incense with four branches for candles, supported by two caryatids standing on an ornamented ebony plinth’. Other examples of similar candelabra are represented in several distinguished collections, including a similar pair of vases in the: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (N. Goodison, op. cit., pl. 76); a single such vase previously in the collection of HRH The Duchess of Kent (N. Goodison, op. cit., p. 323, pl. 317 & pl. 318); and one in the collection of Jon Gerstenfeld, Washington DC.
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