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tline3open  18TH C. French Neoclassical Question

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Author Topic:   18TH C. French Neoclassical Question
Jane Straub
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iconnumber posted 06-26-2005 07:55 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just a question , no picture necessary. Is it true that there are NO portraits on 18th century French Neoclassical silver and that if there is a portrait that indicates it is a fake. Got in an online discussion with someone and was told this. Any takes here?

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-26-2005 11:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ummmm, what do you mean by 'portrait'? If it is a medallion, that is one thing. But if you mean just a representation of a human being, that is quite another. Not sure how to answer this. Could you clarify?

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Jane Straub
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iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 10:58 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you. I am referring to a portrait frequently a medallion, often encircled by a laurel wreath, othertimes a head or face in relief such as a cameo, which may extend out from the piece.Hallmrks 18th c. French or close to it. Sorry, I thought this question could be answered without a photo.

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Dale

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Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My impression, and it is just an impression, is that French NeoClassical silver, and other work, is filled with all sorts of portraits. Others here may have a firmer grasp of this subject. But as a hard and fast rule, this does not seem at all likely. I would not regard something as a fake based on this alone. There would need to be other factors.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I feel the posters here would tend to use the criteria of marks, which does require a photo. French marks are a lifetime's study. Othere factors might also figure in, like size and shape.

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akgdc
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iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 03:40 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, Jane. Since I was the one whose email exchange with you sparked this posting, perhaps I can help to clarify.

The question came up in reference to ornate pieces of silver that have portraits of 18th-century figures: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, or just generic pre-Revolutionary kings, queens, aristocrats, etc. I told Jane that I had NEVER seen such motifs used on a genuine piece of pre-1789 French silver. On the other hand, I have found them to be common on spurious pieces produced by the Hanau silversmiths a hundred years later -- and frequently encircled by the laurel wreaths that Jane describes.

Perhaps some of our resident Hanau experts could weigh in.

Jane, it would help the discussion a lot if you have photographs of specific pieces that you could post.

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regence French silver can have cast and applied heads (usually following a classical theme) - there are many available pieces but I will refer you to two that have available images:
A Ewer and Basin, Paris 1727 & 1729 at the Metropolitan Museum
A Soap box, also Paris 1729 in the Firestone Collection.
There are plenty of other examples.
The 'reproduction' silver from Hanau is simply going beserk historicising an already established type.
I think it is important to point out that the Hanau pieces were NOT sold when new as genuine antiques, just as pieces with the LOOK of the (already unaffordable and pretty much unattainable)originals, with a little bit of artistic licence - hence why the marks are not straight copies of the original genuine marks. wink

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akgdc
unregistered
iconnumber posted 06-27-2005 06:10 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks ... I wasn't talking about classical heads. I meant heads of 18th-century figures (Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the like).

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Antiqueperson

Posts: 18
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 01:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Antiqueperson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a mysterious topic.

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 02:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do King Louis and Julius Caesar look that different from the neck up, their head adorned with laurels? smile

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akgdc
unregistered
iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 09:46 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ummmm ... guess you haven't seen ol' Louis or Julius lately. Julius is bald, Louis has his hair in a queue.

What Jane, aka Antiqueperson, is really trying to find out is whether certain pieces she owns are real 18th-century French, or rather later Hanau creations. I don't think we can do much more without photos of them.

[This message has been edited by akgdc (edited 06-28-2005).]

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Antiqueperson

Posts: 18
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Antiqueperson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello,.. I think I can speak for myself.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 06-28-2005 11:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Department of bad taste. Are there found pieces depicting those who were guillotined, where the head in on one item and the body on another? Just feeling juvenile.

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Antiqueperson

Posts: 18
Registered: Jun 2005

iconnumber posted 06-30-2005 07:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Antiqueperson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Humm........not much happening here.Doesn't anyone collect old French? (besides akgdc)

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