Two Continental porcelain urns on stands, both of tapering form,…
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Two Continental porcelain urns on stands, both of tapering form, one decorated with lady and cupid within a garden setting, with ormolu mounts, the other decorated with a lady in Art Nouveau taste, height 36.5 cm (2)

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  • Art Nouveau Period - The Art Nouveau period was a cultural movement that emerged in the late 19th century, and was characterized by its emphasis on natural forms, flowing lines, and a decorative, ornamental style. Art Nouveau was a reaction against the ornate and heavily stylized designs of the previous era, and sought to create a new, more organic aesthetic.

    Art Nouveau was characterized by its use of sinuous, curving lines, as well as a focus on natural elements such as flowers, vines, and other organic shapes. Art Nouveau designers sought to create a total work of art, in which every element of a building or object was designed to be harmonious with the overall design.

    Some of the most iconic examples of Art Nouveau design include the Paris Metro entrances designed by Hector Guimard, the works of the artist Alphonse Mucha, and the architecture of Victor Horta in Brussels.

    The Art Nouveau period was at its peak between 1890 and 1910, but began to decline in popularity by the start of World War I. However, Art Nouveau remains an important influence on design and art to this day, and continues to be celebrated for its emphasis on natural forms and decorative style.
  • Cupid Motif - The Cupid motif, which features the Roman god of love and desire, Cupid, was a popular decorative element in classical ornamentation. Cupid was often depicted as a winged, naked baby with a bow and arrow, and was often used to symbolize love and desire.

    In classical art and architecture, Cupid motifs were often used as decorative elements on furniture, such as on the legs of chairs and tables, as well as on architectural elements such as friezes and pediments. They were also used as decorative elements in frescoes, mosaics, and other forms of art.

    During the Renaissance, Cupid motifs were often incorporated into the decoration of palaces, churches and other grand buildings, as they were seen as symbols of love and fertility. Cupid motifs were also commonly used in the decorative arts of the Baroque period, often appearing in the form of putti, which are small winged cherub figures.

    In addition to their decorative use, Cupid motifs were also believed to hold symbolic meaning, as they were thought to evoke feelings of love, desire, and fertility.
  • Ormolu - Ormolu was popular with French craftsmen in the 18th and 19th century for ornamental fittings for furniture, clocks and other decorative items. True ormolu is gilt bronze, that is bronze that has been coated with gold using a mercury amalgam. Due to the health risks associated with using mercury, this method of creating ormolu was discontinued in France in the 1830s. A substitute was developed consisting of about 75% copper and 25% zinc, however it was inferior to the bronze version. It was often lacquered to prevent it tarnishing.

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