The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Pedestal
  • Charles de Wailly (1730 - 1798) , Designer
  • Robert-Joseph Auguste (1723 - 1805), Bronze Chaser
    Augustin Pajou (1730 - 1809), Modeller, (bronze mounts)
    Jean-François Hermand, Modeller, (stucco half of the column)
    Jean Lafeuillade, Gilder
    Jacques Adam, Carver, (marble and porphryry vase)
  • France
  • c. 1764
  • Porphyry, stucco, gilt bronze and Carrara marble
  • Height: 168.2 cm
    Width: 70.3 cm
    Depth: 58 cm
  • Inscription: 'DV' Scratched
  • F291
  • Grand Staircase
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Designed by the architect Charles de Wailly (1730-98) for Marc-René d’Argenson, marquis de Voyer (1722-1782), a distinguished soldier who had also been director of the royal stud farms, this pedestal and the vase with which it is associated (F354) were displayed in the sumptuous Hôtel de Voyer in Paris which was remodelled in an advanced neo-classical style by de Wailly in early 1760s. Tremendous skill was required to carve porphyry, a very hard rock first used in ancient Egypt and later under the Roman Empire. The carver was Jacques Adam (maitre 1746), best known for his later collaboration with Pierre Gouthiere on pedestals, chimney-pieces and a table for the duchess de Mazarin.

    De Wailly had studied at the French Academy in Rome and would have seen many porphyry objects in collections there. His statement of account indicates that the mounts of the pedestal and the vase were chased by the neo-classical goldsmith, Robert-Joseph August (1723-1905), who may perhaps have cast them as well, working after sculptural models by Augustin Pajou (1730-1809). The mounts were fire-gilded by Jean Lafeuillade (maitre 1747).

    The pedestal and the porphyry vase which stands on it were recorded by Sir William Chambers in a drawing, annotated 'Various decorations in the Hôtel de Voyer, Ecole Militaire &tc', possibly executed in 1774.