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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 5, The Friends of the V&A Gallery, case WS

This mask and its pair (A.2-1973) are characteristic of decorative sculpture produced under Louis XIV for Versailles and other royal châteaux. Their provenance is not known but they probably functioned as parts of a large fountain.

Physical description

Mask, bronze. One of a pair. The head is garlanded with reeds. A band with a flat boss, placed centrally crosses the bow. There is no lower jaw. Behind the lip are two parallel incisions, which might indicate '2' in a series.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Two parallel incisions.
Incisions are inside the upper lip.


Height: 51 cm, Width: 57 cm, Depth: 22 cm

Object history note

Nothing is known of the provenance. In the last quarter of the 17th century and in the early years of the 18th, an enormous quantity of decorative bronze sculpture of the highest quality was executed for the many projects undertaken by the Direction generale des Batiments du Roi. It is not, therefore, possible to attribute the design of masks of this kind to a particular sculptor.

Purchased together with A.2-1973 from Howard Ricketts, 180 New Bond St.

Descriptive line

Mask, French, ca.1700, gilt bronze

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

cf. Metman, L and Vaudoyers, J.L. Le Metal II, Le Bronze, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, 1910.
Hessling, E. Appliques en bronze, Leipzig, 1911.
Lepautre, A. Les oeuvres d'architecture d'Anthoine Lepautre, 1652, plate 48.
Berger, R.W. Antoine Lepautre, New York, 1969, pl. 70, 73.
cf. Nouveaux livre de Bersseaux et Trilliages. Cabinet Invente par D Marot.
Ricketts, Howard. Catalogue, December 4th-15th 1972.





Subjects depicted

Mask; Reed


Sculpture; Architectural fittings


Sculpture Collection

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