This ornate French jardiniere featuring mythological creatures was cast in bronze and is in the style of Louis XV. The main decorative elements of the jardiniere include two sets of putti and a pair of hippocampi. A hippocamp is a mythological creature that is depicted as a horse with the lower body of a fish. In classical Roman mythology, it was said that the god of the sea, Neptune (or Poseidon in Greek mythology), would have a team of four hippocampi pull his conch chariot across the water. The artistic theme of hippocampi can be seen in the Fontana del Nettuno fountains of Rome and Florence, and hippocampi and putti specifically, was a favorite of Giovanni Andrea Maglioli (16th century).
On the front and back sides of the planter, are two putti holding a garland, centered with a large flower. The right most putti on each side is also blowing a conch shell horn. The hippocampi are on opposite ends of the jardiniere and facing outwards, in a courant attitude. Scrolling acanthus leaves also adorn the bowl-shaped jardiniere. There is a cartouche comprised of an acanthus leaf and C scrolls that is centered on each side between the putti. Behind the cartouches, the mouth of the jardiniere rises in a scallop motif.
Crafted in the 1800’s, the showy French jardiniere has a metal liner, meaning it is ready to be used as a small planter. It can also be displayed as a centerpiece or as a standalone piece of sculptural art.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with small separation on the underside of the jardiniere (not visible when on table). Minor nicks and rubs to bronze finish.
H - 8, W - 26 1/2, D - 12
Unusual Antique French Bronze Jardiniere with Putti and Mythological Hippocampi