PAIR OF BRONZE ANDIRONS "ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND DIOGENES"
Pair of patinated and gilded bronze andirons depicting a soldier and a beggar. One depicts a soldier wearing a Macedonian helmet with a sphinx-shaped crest, a form-fitting cuirass and holding a shield. The other shows a naked man in lion skin, knitted bonnet and slave armbands. They are seated on four arched, fluted legs on a base with a frieze of coiled ribbons. Facing each other, they hold a chain that links them.
This object could evoke the story of Alexander the Great and the philosopher Diogenes. The armbands of the philosopher show his passage in servitude and his animal skin the wild character of this historical character refusing to integrate into society. In 336 BC the Macedonian king Alexander said to Diogenes "Ask me what you want, I will give it to you" to which he replied "Get out of my sun". The representation of the two figures as andirons plays on the fact that fire represents the sun. This taste for ancient subjects was particularly present in the 19th century when a lot of archaeological excavations were happenning.
XIX° period, Circa: 1880
Dim: W: 41cm, D: 26cm, H: 48cm.
Dim: W: 16,1in, D: 10,2in, H: 18,9in.
Condition report: In good condition. A few scratches on the soldier's right forearm. Rework of the bronze on the soldier's thigh and foot.