Dating to the 1800s, this imposing French plaster pot a feu (“fire pot”) has been paired with a wooden pedestal that features a well-done orange and brown faux marble finish. The total height of this unique decorative piece is just over 7.5 feet tall. The pot a feu has the typical white color associated with plaster, but some areas have developed a light gray or pink patina, enhancing the lifelike appearance of the stylized flame, which is emerging from the molded neck of the urn. Motifs from the reign of Louis XIV embellish the main body of the urn, such as thick gadroon lobes, C-scroll and cabochon cartouches, floral swags, and leaf cups. The pedestal has also been carved in the style of Louis XIV, with the front adorned with a scalloped shell and foliate margents over a shaped console, set in between a molding of egg and dart and foliate niches.
First seen in France during the 16th century, the pot a feu gained popularity in Baroque architecture during the 17th century with the reign of Louis XIV. A pot au feu is a festive urn surmounted by a stylized flame that was often incorporated into the upper reaches of French buildings, such as on a roof or atop a pediment. Pots au feu were inspired by erupting fireworks, with the belief being that replicating the loud noises and bright sounds of fireworks would frighten off evil spirits. Our plaster pot a feu with faux marble pedestal would make a fantastic decorative element in a grand foyer, entry hall, or great room.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor nicks and losses to plaster, which has been professionally restored. Light separations to wooden pedestal.