9314

A PAIR OF PORCELAIN AND GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED CASSOLETTES ATTRIBUTED TO MATTHEW BOULTON

Measurements

Height: 7 3/4"(19.5 cm)
Width: 3 1/2" (9 cm)
Depth: 2 1/4" (6 cm)

Research

Of porcelain and gilt bronze. Each with gilt bronze finial en flambeau reversing to a circular nozzle with guilloche decoration, the lids above a frieze with greek key pattern, the body of porcelain decorated after the antique with satyrs against a rose ground painted with faux craquelure, set to either side with shaped handles, the body with stiff leaf decoration at the base above a moulded collar and a spreading fluted socle set on a square plinth. 
The present pair of cassolettes are closely comparable to the work of the celebrated English metal-worker Matthew Boulton (1728-1809). The quality of the gilt bronze mounts of the cassolettes suggests that they are the work of a craftsman of the highest calibre, whilst the form of the design and the motifs employed in their execution are shared by a number of pieces known to have been made by Boulton.

The design of the cassolettes is strongly characteristic of pieces made by Matthew Boulton, combining the ornamental effect of these highly decorative objects with the utility of the candle-holder lid.1 Boulton pioneered the attachment of gilt bronze mounts to vases in English design, an innovation inspired by the experiments being undertaken by French metal-workers.2 The inspiration for making vases serve as candelabra, perfume-burners and clock-case Boulton acquired from France, in a number of Boulton pieces, like the present cassolettes, the form of a vase is set with gilt bronze mounts terminating in a finialled top which inverted assumes the form of a candle holder.3 Designs, such as those of circa 1755-6 by the architect and engraver Jean Francois Neufforge (figure 1), illustrate the close relationship between Boulton’s work and that of his French contemporaries.4

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.