Pair of large antique ormolu mounted porphyry lamps


Porphyry, a symbol of royalty, is paired with shining ormolu to create impressive Neoclassical style antique lamps fit for traditional and modern interiors.


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This elegant pair of lamps is expertly crafted from porphyry and ormolu (gilt bronze). Made in France in the late 19th century, their design is inspired by the Neoclassical style popular during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The lamps are carved from porphyry, a very important and desirable stone within decorative arts. In Ancient Roman times this deep-purple stone was believed to be a symbol of high status and royalty. The bodies are baluster-shaped, standing on a slender, spreading socle stand. Both antique pieces are mounted on a square stepped porphyry base ending in ormolu detailing.

Ormolu decoration adorns both lamps throughout. A pair of upright scroll handles above satyr masks is mounted on both pieces. The masks are joined with a rich garland of flowers and fruit, such as pomegranate. Numerous foliate bandings wrap around the circumference of the lamps, while the lower body is richly mounted with several acanthus leaves.

Originally made to be vases, the pieces have been converted to lamps. From the lid of the vase extends a long gold-coloured adjustable metal rod to which two lightbulbs can be attached. This is surmounted by the ormolu pinecone finial, originally found on top of the vases’ lids. Two gold, fabric lampshades complete the pieces, their paired-down design complementing the intricate lamp bodies.  

The clever modification of the antique vases creates a unique home décor piece, one which celebrates the past and the present.

Lamps: Height 87 (tallest) / 75cm (shortest), diameter 21cm
Shades: Height 32cm, diameter 50cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Porphyry, Textile
Gold, Purple


87 cm / 34.3 inches
50 cm / 19.7 inches


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