A Pair of Gilt Bronze Chenets
Finely modelled as recumbent Sphinx wearing capes with the Fleur-de-Lis symbol, in the front part resting on shields; original wrought iron.
Manufactured and signed by Bouhon Frères/Bouhon et Cie
Paris Exposition 1878 & 1900.
This model is based on a design of the 18th century, where we find similar figures in the park of Marly, in Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, Champs and Chantilly. Another example is part of the Bavarian National Museum collection in Munich, most likely made by Guillaume de Grof around 1715 for Elector Max Emanuel for the Munich Residence.
Guillaume de Grof came to Paris around 1700 to develop and refine his craftsmanship. He might have received orders for the French Royal House already from up to 1708. De Grof then worked for Elector Max Emanuel from 1714, who eventually brought him to Munich in 1716. His gilded lead sculptures for Max Emanuel’s gardens are one of his most significant works.
The headquarters of the important manufactory Maison Bouhon Frères (formerly Maison Clavier and later Bouhon et Cie until 1898), was located in the Marais in Paris. The brothers Thomas and Joseph Bouhon were extremely successful with their finely chased and fire-gilded bronze work, especially with fireplace accessories, which were a novelty in this high quality. They exhibited at the World’s Fairs 1878 and 1900 and received the gold medal of the international jury.