A George III ormolu and white marble athenienne, designed by James 'Athenian' Stuart and attributed to Matthew Boulton.
Matthew Boulton collaborated with James Stuart in 1769 on a massive tripod for Shugborough House, Staffordshire, England. It is likely that the design for the considerably smaller athenienne tripod became part of Boulton’s repertoire after this. There were four such athenienne tripods in Boulton’s sale at Christie’s, labelled ‘after a design of Mr. Stuart’. The design drawings by James Stuart are preserved in Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, England.
An example of this perfume burner is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and was formerly at Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire, England. A pair with candle branches, but with a different type of marble base, is in the collection at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, England; another pair, again with candle arms and with the same type of marble base, were photographed by Country Life magazine at Spencer House in London.
Note: The pierced lid is a restoration.
‘Mallett at Bourdon House’, catalogue, autumn 1996, pp. 54-5.
Eileen Harris, The Furniture of Robert Adam, 1973, pls 1, 2, 3 & 6.
Nicholas Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, 2002, p. 72, figs 23-4, p. 76, fig. 32.
Private collection, Denmark.
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