Possibly inspired by a 1771 painting by Jacques-Louis David, this set of large brass chargers depict the Roman deities, Mars and Minerva. The painting by David (Minerva Fighting Mars) is currently on display at the Louvre and was awarded second place for the Prix de Rome, which was a French scholarship that allowed artists to study in Rome for up to five years.
Both chargers depict a bust of the gods (they face each other if displayed as seen in the main photo) clad in a cuirass and helmet, indicating that they are dressed for war. The images have been hammered from the verso side in a metalworking technique known as repousse, giving the front a slightly raised appearance. Each god’s name can be seen beneath their shoulder, with the alternate spelling of “Minerve” on her charger. A twisted rope motif encircles the profile medallions and the outer rim is crenellated. In between the two rings is a rinceaux dotted with shaped escutcheons, fluted urns, and volute dolphins. Our pair of Neoclassical brass repousse chargers from the 1800s are quite large, with a diameter approaching nearly 2 feet. They would make fantastic wall ornaments in a hallway, study, or game room.
CONDITION: Good antique condition, with general wear as seen in photos. Old split underneath Minerva (recently secured into place to prevent further movement). Rigged in the back for hanging.