This highly worked 19th century French repousse copper lavabo on carved wooden stand has a coat of arms on the front of the upper storage tank where the water is held. Two bronze spigots would have allowed the water to empty into the bottom basin. The basin at the bottom has circular copper handles, which are riveted into place. The exterior of the basin is also highly worked, exhibiting alternating foliate repousse motifs.
The main decorative element of the piece is the upper section of the tank. Two rampant lions flank a smooth, protruding center oval surmounted by a Royal crown. Beneath are two Fleur De Lys amongst foliate scrolls, all on a finely textured background.
Lavabos or “fountains” such as this were first seen in rich properties during the late 1600’s. Created out of pewter, copper or porcelain, some examples from the 18th century still survive. They were used in dining rooms to wash ones hands before eating. The example seen here was made in the 1800s. By the early 1900’s, they were no longer needed as modern plumbing made its way into homes.
Today, they are wonderful decorative pieces of history, used to decorate walls or display dried flowers. Upper lid is removable.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor denting and wear commensurate with age and use. Backboard is more recent.
H-48 3/4, W-17 3/4, D-11