Magnificent ormolu and porcelain casket on stand

Style of Sèvres (French, founded 1738)


This exceptional casket and stand are crafted from ormolu of the highest quality and decorated with precious porcelain plaques of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.


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The oval profile casket is of architectural form and is set on fourteen delicate toupie feet. The lower edge of the casket is moulded with an intricate egg and dart frieze, above the shaped base cast with laurel leaves.

The front façade of the casket features a central oval porcelain plaque painted with a portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette within a crowned gilt cartouche and flanked by cherubs, all surrounded by further borders of gilt, royal blue, and turquoise. To either side of the central plaque are two porcelain plaques depicting musical instruments, with a further two porcelain plaques of winged cherubs situated to the curved sides of the casket. The porcelain plaques are separated with architectural columns in ormolu, bearing flowers, swags, and double 'L' crowned cartouches.  The reverse of the casket is decorated with a similar arrangement and features a plaque painted with a portrait of King Louis XVI, in opposition to the painting of Marie Antoinette, who was the wife of the King.

The two curved sides of the casket each feature a central ormolu mask. Around the top of the casket body is a further egg and dart frieze and floral crowns mounted above each of the columns. The lid of the casket is hinged to the rear and opens with supports to reveal a velvet interior. The lid is surmounted with two female figures who reach toward a central crown, set upon a tapered pierced ormolu stage, with an oval relief panel to the front centre.

Below the front plaque of Marie Antoinette is an inscription, which spuriously reads 'This casket formerly property of Marie Antoinette, presented to my beloved wife as souvenir of our European tour / Sept 8th 1886 / Louis L. Smith'.

The casket is supported by a conforming mirror-topped stand, crafted from ormolu and inset with porcelain panels of a similar form and style. The stand features tapering, fluted legs, draped with garlands and connected by a curved X-form stretcher, which supports and ornate ormolu urn. The apron of stand is inset with superb Sèvres style porcelain plaques and mounted with ormolu laurel sprays.

Total height: 133cm
Casket: Height 48cm, width 82cm, depth 45cm
Stand: Height 85cm, width 91cm, depth 62cm


Artist / Maker
Style of Sèvres (French, founded 1738)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Louis XVI, Neoclassical, Sèvres
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Porcelain
Blue, Gold, Multi-coloured


133 cm / 52.4 inches
91 cm / 35.8 inches
62 cm / 24.4 inches


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