H: 14.5 in / 36 cmDescription
An Emblematic Pair of Ormolu-Mounted Urns
Carved from rosso levanto marble and dressed with gilt-bronze mounts, rising from square tapering feet and a square base inset with scrolling ormolu foliage having tasselled tripartite aprons reminiscent of heraldic flags to all facets; the ovoid bodies finely carved with a toursade relief which is further echoed in the ormolu lids. The twin-handles incorporating a primary motif of a wolf’s head, his claws, and hybridized with bearded male masks.
For many centuries, the wolf has been a sign of loyalty in battle, as well as bravery. Historically, the great city of Rome was founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were nursed by a wolf as babies. The wolf imparted the qualities of strength, cunning, endurance and nobility, and it can rightly be numbered amongst the honourable creatures of heraldry, along with the lion, leopard, eagle, and horse.
French, circa 1870