An important and rare pair of mid 18th century ormolu mounted tiger stone candle vases by Matthew Boulton, each having a reversible stepped gadrooned lid forming a candle holder on an ovolo shaped tiger stone body hung with husk swags in a stiff leaf cradle above a spirally fluted socle and square plinth with Greek key motif mounted on a cylinder shaped tiger stone base with lion mask and husk swag appliqués; terminating in a triple stepped tiger stone base with ormolu guilloche bands.
Note: Tiger stone is an 18th century term for a type of fluorspar which is also sometimes called Hatterel. It is by far the rarest of the stones used by the Boulton workshops. Matthew Boulton’s diary reveals that he purchased tiger stone in the late 1760s. Very few examples of this exotic stone in conjunction with Boulton’s outstanding ormolu have come to light.
Literature: Nicholas Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, 2002, p. 152 & p. 384, note 110. Trevor D. Ford, ‘Derbyshire Blue John’, 2005, p. 37.
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