Robb Design Portfolio: The Aristocats
In October 1818, sculptor Jean-Charles-Nicholas Brachard l’aîné began crafting these two Sèvres biscuit models of pacing lions, with embroidery-motif saddlecloths and reticulated gilt baskets, for the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. Brachard l’aîné took inspiration from an 1817 design for an elaborate dessert service conceived by the artist Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (the son of painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard). This provenance, says Brian Haughton—a London-based art dealer and organizer of several international art fairs (www.haughton.com)—makes the lions significant among Sèvres pieces. "Brachard l’aîné was the finest Neoclassical sculptor at Sèvres," Haughton explains, "and the fact that the design was executed by Fragonard makes these lions some of the most important works to emanate from Sèvres during this period." The cats, priced at $660,000 for the pair, debuted last February at Haughton’s Art Antiques Design Dubai fair. In October, they will be on display in New York, where they will guard the Brian Haughton Gallery stand at the International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show.