The J. Paul Getty Museum

Pair of Firedogs

Object Details

Title:

Pair of Firedogs

Artist/Maker:

Attributed to Charles Cressent (French, 1685 - 1768, master 1719)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1735

Medium:

Gilt bronze

Object Number:

73.DF.63

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Object Description

Designed to hold logs, firedogs or chenets take their name from the French word for a small dog. Pairs of firedogs were placed inside the fireplace, with their gilt bronze decoration concealing wrought iron bars that supported the burning wood.

To earn money to pay fines and mounting debts, the ébéniste Charles Cressent was forced to sell these firedogs, which he made, along with the contents of his house and workshop at auction in 1757. In the entry in the sale catalogue for number 163, he proudly described these pieces in the following words:

[A pair of] firedogs which represent two sphinxes, one playing with a cat and the other with a monkey, mounted on two feet, of the grandest taste. Amateurs will remark that these sphinxes are not treated like those one usually finds on firedogs; these could be considered to be one of the finest treatments in France, garnished with their sculpted and gilded ornament.

Provenance
Provenance
- by 1970

Private Collection (Paris, France), sold to Didier Aaron & Cie, by 1970.

by 1970 - 1972

Didier Aaron & Cie (Paris, France), sold to French and Company, Inc, 1972.
Source: Illustrated in exhibition catalogue, International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art, Art Dealer and Collector: Fourth International Exhibition Presented by C.I.N.O.A., exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Amsterdams Historisch Museum, 1970), p. 310.

1972 - 1973

French and Company, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to J. Paul Getty for the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Art Dealer and Collector: Fourth International Exhibition presented by C.I.N.O.A. (March 27 to May 31, 1970)
Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts (October 2, 2008 to July 5, 2009)
  • Henry Moore Institute (Leeds), October 2, 2008 to January 4, 2009
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 31 to July 5, 2009
Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012
Bibliography
Bibliography

Ballot, Marie-Juliette. Charles Cressent: sculpteur, ébéniste, collectionneur (Paris: Édouard Champion, 1919), p. 218, no. 163.

International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art. Art Dealer and Collector: Fourth International Exhibition Presented by C.I.N.O.A., exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Amsterdams Historisch Museum, 1970), p. 310, no. 237, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), pp. 100-1, 103, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Selections from the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983), p. 34, no. 17, ill.

Ottomeyer, Hans, and Peter Pröschel, eds. Vergoldete Bronzen: Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus. Vol 1, Katalog der Bronzearbeiten (Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986), p. 112.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 107, no. 177.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 90-91, no. 182.

Pradère, Alexandre. Charles Cressent: sculpteur, ébéniste du Régent (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2003), pp. 204-206, 307, no. 270, ill.

Hellman, Mimi. "The Decorated Flame: Firedogs and the Tensions of the Hearth." In Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts, exh. cat. Martina Droth et al., eds. (Leeds: Henry Moore Institute; Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), p. 183, ill.

Droth, Martina, and Penelope Curtis, eds. Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts, exh. cat. (Leeds: Henry Moore Foundation; Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), pp. 58-59, no. 13, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, ed. Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), p. 121, no. 29, ill.