Lot 218

AIGUIÈRE et son BASSIN en argent doré par Gilles Claude GOUËL, 1742 The AIGUIÈRE is baluster-shaped on a pedestal with contours of fillets and ribbons in abseiling. Gracefully contoured handle, the only rectilinear remains the ring which surrounds in its middle the body of the piece, and the applied foliage alternating with typhus-roses in the lower part. The other mouldings curve gracefully, following the contour of the spout and lid. The decoration of canals, shells and foliage offers the same kind of freedom that is kindly retained on both the ewer and the basin. Rocaille cartridge spout and leather frieze, edged. Handle in crosier surmounted by a shell. Shell lid. The BASIN of oblong shape with tri-lobed ribs, with a leather frieze and a reserve with four shells, flanked by thyphas. Goldsmith Gilles Claude GOUEL, received master in Paris in 1727. Paris, 1742. Length of the basin: 34 cm. Height of the ewer : 23 cm. Total weight : 2 144 g. (revermeillé.) Provenance: descendant of Jean Marie-Pie Michel Claret (1805-1886), architect-decorator of Napoleon III and protégé of Baron James de Rothschild. Ewer and its rocaille silver basin gilded by Gilles Claude Gouël in 1742. Reference: To be compared with the ewer and its basin by Jean Fauché 1739-1742, in the coat of arms of the Cottereau family, kept at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Reproduction in "les grands orfèvres de Louis XIII à Charles X", Connaissance des arts, Hachette, 1965, p.134-135. To extend: 360° view on rouillac.com. "From a dynasty of Parisian goldsmiths, Gilles Claude Gouël is the son of master Gilles Gouël (received in 1694), the brother of master Pierre-Aimé (1749), and the father of master Antoine (1758). He was established in Paris on the Quai des Orfèvres, then in 1748 at the Pont Saint-Michel, Saint-Barthélémy parish. Its hallmark is a crowned fleur-de-lys surmounted by the initials G.C.G., two grains and a grape. In 1751 he became a guard of the corporation and in 1764 a grand-guard. In 1767 the assembly of goldsmiths proposed him as consul, he died in 1767 and was buried in Saint Barthélémy" in "Le poinçon de Paris, répertoire des maîtres-orfèvres de la juridiction de Paris depuis le moyen-âge jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe siècle". Fleury, 1927, p. 268. Rare are the ewers and their basins in vermeil under Louis XV preserved nowadays. That of Charlotte-Aglaé d'Orléans, daughter of Regent Philippe II of Orléans and Mademoiselle de Blois (daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan) Duchess of Modena is reproduced on the cover of Paul Micio's book "Les collections de Monsieur frère de Louis XIV". A work by Besnier, it is dated 1719. Before the 18th century, custom required the washing of hands at the table in a large house. Often, a servant held a basin for the guests while another poured water from a ewer. This practice was particularly important before the use of forks became widespread, but by the early 18th century, sets of matching forks, knives and spoons were in common use. Thus, after about 1700, ewers and its large basins were produced mainly for display purposes and would have been housed on a buffet or sideboard. In contrast, smaller models such as this one were intended to be used for washing, the daily bathing and grooming ritual that took place in the bedroom. "Apart from royal or princely goldsmiths, the Parisian masters created pieces of simpler but equally refined elegance. »