This impressive pair of chenets are made of gilt bronze and feature a rich blue rocaille cartouche with Fleur De Lys. They are based on the original sphinx chenets by Guillaume de Grof (1680-1742), a Parisian trained Flemish sculptor who would go on to work under King Louis XIV.
The classic sphinx is a hybrid of a lion and a human and first appeared in Egypt during the IV dynasty, where it was shown both sitting or lying down. The motif of the sphinx remained a major feature throughout the Egyptian kingdom for over a thousand years and eventually spread throughout the Ancient world. In France, some of the great Chateaux of the Renaissance featured prominent stone sphinxes at the base of entry steps. Although the chenets seen here are after the circa 1710 originals by de Grof, they were created during the latter half of the 19th century, when the French public gained widespread appreciation for Egyptian history and art. This was a direct result of Napoleon’s earlier Egyptian campaign, and the publication of “Le Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte” by Dominque Vivant Denon. Of course, this would become known as the Empire Style.
These elegant antique gilt bronze French chenets stand over 17 inches high and will look stunning in any fireplace. They can also be used as decorative accessories or converted into lamps. Each chenet is very solid, composed of multiple cast sections, joined by old bolts.
CONDITION: Good condition, commensurate to wear and age. Dark patina in areas as seen in photos. Small square section to back of plinth on one chenet appears to be missing