IN THE MUSEUMS : Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.

Andirons – Louis XVI era

Two chiselled openwork gilded bronze andirons on 4 legs, with a torch blazing in a miniature vase.

Likely made by Pithoin.

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.

With their ambitious aesthetics, these two andirons showcase the craftsman’s imaginative power. They have four spinning top-shaped legs and feature an oval shaped medallion carved with a large flower. Above the medallion lies a knotted ribbon tied around two branches, which reach outwards. They are surmounted by a torch blazing in a miniature vase, itself sitting on four curved legs shaped like an animal’s paws.
These blazing torches were very common in the 18th century, more specifically during the reign of XVI. That being said, the detailed chiselling and the rich ornaments are inspired by ancient art.