• Plat-de-Menage

    Technique:
    cast, chased and engraved
    Dimensions:
    h. 63 cm

Plat-de-Menage

France, 1727

This centrepiece (a table decoration incorporating cruets) was made in the early 18th century by Claude II Ballin and is one of three bought for the Russian court in France. The Louvre possesses a drawing of the design for this piece. Claude II Ballin (1661-1754) was an eminent Parisian jeweller who made his name with many works for the French court, including Louis XV's crown. This silver table ornament consists of a tray from which rises a gazebo that is topped by a figure of Bacchus squeezing juice into a cup from a bunch of grapes. The gazebo is surrounded by bacchantes with thyrsus-staffs and musical instruments. Placed in silver sockets around the curved supports of the gazebo are eight crystal-glass cruets embellished in coloured enamels with the monogram A on a mantle beneath a crown. This decoration was added in the 19th century and is associated with Alexandra Fiodorovna, the wife of Nicholas I. The glass containers were for oil, pepper, vinegar and other condiments that came into fashion with the rise in colonial trade. The elaborate composition of the piece is extended by the coiling branches of candle-holders. The tray is framed by silver basins for oysters. The refined asymmetrical shapes, rich invention and masterly execution that marked early 18th century when the Rococo style emerged are at their finest in the works of Claude II Ballin. The French plats-de-ménage now in the State Hermitage are considered the best in the world.

Title:

Plat-de-Menage

Place of creation:

Date:

School:

Technique:

cast, chased and engraved

Dimensions:

h. 63 cm

Acquisition date:

Transferred to the Hermitage from the Office of the Marshal of the Court

Inventory Number:

Э-8653

Category:

Collection:

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