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c. 1800

attributed to Pierre Philippe Thomire

(French, 1751-1843)

Bronze, partially gilt, marble base

Diameter: 34 cm (13 3/8 in.); Overall: 66.9 cm (26 5/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Buchanan in memory of Dorothy Tuckerman Draper 1993.175



In 1798, a large quantity of French furnishings was acquired for the Michael Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Some of these pieces survive in museums like the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This institution recently staged an exhibition of such French pieces by and attributed to Thomire. Among the objects shown was a bronze vase virtually identical in design to this piece.

The body of this vase is decorated with two small reliefs showing male and female centaurs with putti riding on their backs. These reliefs also occur on silver wine coolers produced by the Odiot firm, a major Parisian silversmith under Napoleon's empire. The Odiot firm still owns models of these reliefs that, according to tradition, had been given to Jean-Baptiste Claude Odiot by Thomire.

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