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A pair of late 18th century Adam period ormolu mounted ‘Cliff Blue Vein’ blue john and white marble perfume burners by Matthew Boulton, each having a pierced and domed lid with acorn finial on a guilloche ring mounted to the blue john body; the body draped with hare bell swags and with two loop handles to the sides, on a waisted fluted base above a concave sided square socle with guilloche border mounted on a stepped circular plinth with egg and dart edging above a circular white statuary marble base similarly hung with hare bell swags and chased oval paterae, terminating in a stepped socle with stiff leaf detail.

Note: An identical pair of perfume burners was in the well-documented Leidesdorf collection in New York. A single perfume burner of the same design, originally from the Duchess of Manchester, was formerly in the Mulliner collection. A further identical pair mounted on onyx was supplied by Bolton in 1771 to Catherine the Great of Russia and is now in the Hermitage Collection in St. Petersburg.

The pierced lids are of later date.

Literature: H. H. Mulliner, ‘The Decorative Arts in England 1660-1780’, 1923, fig. 169.
Sotheby & Co., ‘A Collection of English Furniture, Barometers & Clocks formed by a Gentleman residing in New York’, 27-28 June 1974, p. 95.
Hotspur Ltd., ‘Hotspur Golden Jubilee,1924-1974’, 1974, pl. 28.
Nicholas Goodison, ‘Matthew Boulton: Ormolu’, 2002, p. 302, illus. 268.

Exhibitions:

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  • Provenance

    Mrs. E. W. Angell, Bath, England;
    Charles Angell, Bath, England, 1962;
    Ayer & Co. Ltd., London, England, 1973;
    Private collection, England;
    Partridge Fine Arts Ltd., London, England, 1980;
    Private collection, England.


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