Townley Vase Scale Model, c. 1870
Rare and spectacular circa 1870 cast iron actual scale model of the Townley Vase by French foundry Val d’Osne, having original black and silver paint scheme on faux-marbre painted plinth, the volute-krater form vase decorated in high-relief with a Bacchic scene, featuring Pan and followers of the wine-god Bacchus dancing in revelry.
The Townley Vase is a large Roman marble vase of the 2nd century CE, discovered in 1773 by Scottish antiquarian and antiquities dealer Gavin Hamilton while excavating a Roman villa at Monte Cagnolo, Lazio, Italy. Its name comes from the English collector Charles Townley, who purchased it from Hamilton in 1774 for £250. Townley’s collection, displayed in his Park Street, London house, and immortalized by Johan Zoffany’s 1782 painting “Charles Townley in his Gallery”, was bought for the British Museum after his death in 1805, where it is still displayed.
The Val d’Osne Company was an art foundry established in 1835 by Jean-Pierre Andre Victor, and initially manufactured street/park furniture along with decorative architectural cast iron, and quickly became the largest decorative art foundry in France under the name “Val d’Osne Fonderie d’Art”. The workshops were located in Val d’Osne, Haute Marne, France, with its headquarters and showroom at 58 Boulevard Voltaire, Paris. The success of the company allowed it to eventually buy its competitors, Barbezat and Ducel, and became famous for its monumental cast iron fountains, statuary, and urns after antique models. Regularly during the 19th century Val d’Osne foundries were awarded at international industrial exhibitions, including the 1851 London Crystal Palace Exhibition, bringing the company further notariety. Val d’Osne designed and manufactured the gilt-bronze statuary ornamenting the Pont Alexandre III bridge in Paris, unveiled at The Exposition Universelle of 1900, and the Art Nouveau style cast iron architectural work for the Hector Guimard designed Paris Métro. The company worked with many important artists such as Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Mathurin Moreau (a shareholder in the company), and James Pradier. In 1931 the Val d’Osne foundry was purchased by the Sommevoire Factory, today known as Fonderie GHM, which still produces cast iron street furnitures.
Condition: Considered excellent without chips, cracks, or losses. Miraculously kept indoors throughout its existence allowing it to retain its original paint scheme with very little rust present. The piece is in two parts, the urn itself and plinth base.
Number of items: 1
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