This pair of large cast stone garden finials are referred to as “Pot A Feu”. First used in France during the 16th century, they gained popularity throughout the 17th century during the Baroque period. Inspired by erupting fireworks, pots a feu were designed to be the apex of vertical building elements, probably in a propitiatory gesture to help ward off evil spirits.
A pot a feu is a type of vase surmounted by a stylized flame. Typically, they are made of stone and used as architectural ornamentation. You might often see these perched on top of a roof, on the raking cornice of a pediment, or at the front entry of a Chateau.
The pair you see here are made of cast stone, and they have an antique gray patina with distress to mimic very old stone. The fire element sits on top of a lidded vase, or urn. The body of the vases are adorned with floral drapery and margent. The round foot of each vase sits on a square plinth.
Today, these “Pots a Feu”, at nearly 5 feet tall will look fantastic placed at the top of a set of stairs or flanking a garden entry.
CONDITION: Minor chips and intentional distress marks. Varying and weathered patina with traces of lichen. Please see photos.