EMPIRE PERIOD WRITING SET
A gilt-bronze, ash burr and rosewood veneered writing set featuring a central potpourri dish supported by two swans with outstretched wings. The dish is framed by an inkwell and compact decorated with lattice work. The lids, finely chased with openwork floral motifs, are topped by dolphin-shaped grips. The set rests on a rectangular base featuring a hollowed-out penholder. The main face and sides are adorned with bas-reliefs of swans, crowns and palmettes arranged in a frieze. The inkwell opens into a side drawer running the full length of the base. It stands on four pastille feet. Very fine chasing. Under the Empire, bronzes are remarkable for the ingenious symmetry of their composition, the clarity of their lines, the effect produced by the combination of gilded and patinated bronze, but above all for their chasing, of which Thomire is one of the undisputed masters. Virtually all the bronze motifs are borrowed from the ancient Greco-Roman or Egyptian repertoire. A multitude of elements are gathered from altars, tombs, Pompeii wall decorations and even Roman goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares, including antique heads, horns of plenty, Jupiter's thunderbolt, Neptune's trident, Mercury's caduceus, Bacchus' thyrseus, helmets, crowns, lamps, craters, amphorae, winged torches and musical instruments. To these motifs should be added the emblems of Victory, War and Empire, as well as those of the animal world, notably the swan and the eagle, which are very popular. Empire period, Circa: 1810 Dim: W:30cm, D:16cm, H:22cm.