A Classical Form Spelter Lamp with Putti & Grapes above Bacchus Heads


Origin: Possibly French
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Height: 19 inches
Base Diameter: 5 inches

Cast in spelter or French bronze, the symmetrically designed lamp beautifully adorned with classical motifs, including vine leaves, grapes, putti and Baccus heads, terminating in a ringed, circular wooden base. In the style of French Masters L&F Moreau, the definition on the faces of both the putti and Bacchus heads are well defined and point to a good quality cast. Spelter, a zinc alloy, has been used since about the 1860s to make statues, tableware, and lamps that resemble bronze. Unclean, there is a wonderful, evocative yet uneven patina, meaning the lamp remains in wonderfully original condition.

The god who inspires ritual madness, joyful worship, carnivals and ecstasy has also inspired this wonderfully classical piece of lighting. Dionysus, or Bacchus to the Romans, is the ancient Greek god of wine, wine cups, grapes, theatre, and fertility, all of which are either alluded to or directly illustrated in this beautiful piece.

There is of course the possibility of modernisation and restoration if so desired, but in its current form, this is simply a beautifully haunting piece of decorative art.