The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Tazza
  • Attributed to André-Antoine Ravrio (1759 - 1814) , Bronze Founder
  • Possibly Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751 - 1843), Modeller, (figure group)
  • France
  • c. 1805
  • Porphyry, bronze, serpentine and gilt bronze
  • Height: 43.8 cm
    Diameter: 25 cm
  • F344
  • West Gallery III
Further Reading
  • This tazza combines a shallow bowl of red Egyptian porphyry with a base of green serpentine, representative of the fashion for hardstone objects at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Three patinated bronze caryatids support a gilt-bronze cushion on which the tazza rests, and hold a garland of gilt bronze flowers and fruit. The female figures are wearing sleeveless classical drapery and the overall composition is designed to evoke the world of Ancient Greece, which was a major influence on the arts of the period. The tazza would have been displayed by its owner as a sign of wealth and refinement.
    A drawing dated c. 1785 in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris by the bronze caster Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) shows a candelabra of similar design, without the cushion, and several versions of the executed candelabra are known (including a pair at the Getty Museum (86.DF.521). Although a pair of the same model was delivered to Joachim Murat in 1806 by another bronze caster, André-Antoine Ravrio (1759-1814), and later versions are known, there is no reason to suggest that Thomire did not make this tazza, renowned as he was for working with hard stones.