Beautiful antique French Napoleon III to Belle Epoque era 7" vase, epergne or boudoir lamp base PAIR, foliate gilt ormolu bases with gorgeous hand painted Limoges enamel on copper upper including a marvelously detailed man & woman in foil or semi-metallic enamel court dress! Aren't these fabulous! Judging from the small holes in the sides of the bases, I would say they were originally boudoir lamps and could relatively easily be re-wired and restored as such. We're offering them as found, a lovely pair of decorative vases or epergnes but, if they don't sell, I'll probably have them rewired so I can use them in my house. The upper portions are in shaped copper, entirely hand painted enamel in the Limoges style with the semi-translucent red, turquoise and purples accenting the figures' garments. Superb detail, I've included some close-up photos of the faces so you can see just how expertly these have been done. These are kiln-fired enamels - the process is excruciatingly difficult to master. Enamel powders suspended in a liquid medium are applied like being painted, but in their unfired state, the enamels are all a muddy shades - NOT the colors you see in the end product which only reveals itself after the heat of the kiln has melted the powders and turned the surface into the glassine hardcoat you see here. Subject to chips, cracks and even hairlines in both process and age/temperature changes, these old enameled treasures are often plagued with flaws. This pair had a few of their own to show for its age but they've just come back from our enamel restorer and are free of any chips, etc.. Priced well and a lovely old one from the finest enamelists
Very good condition. As noted above, they've just come back f rom our enamel restorer where some chipping around the bottom where they meet the ormolu bases was repaired. Otherwise fabulous, just as you see them!