Pair of spindle-shaped vases.
Sweden, circa 1800-1810.
Height 34 cm
This pair of spindle-shaped vases shows a reversible lid. Elegantly shaped, they highlight the color of the Blyberg porphyry which is a Swedish porphyry from the Älvdalen deposit discovered in 1730 by the pastor of the church of Älvdalen. The stone was described in 1739 by the College of Mines as follows: "... the hard reddish marble with dark grains or whitish grains interspersed is called Porphyry, which makes it so hard that almost no iron bites on it". This porphyry shows a wide variety of colors and textures, about ten distinct types.
From 1788 and the beginning of the exploitation of the deposit, remarkable vases mounted in ormolu were created. These porphyry objects of various shapes and uses were much appreciated by Marshal Bernadotte, King Karl IV Johann, who ruled Sweden from 1818 to 1844. The work was time-consuming: it could take up to a year to cut a 60-centimeter-thick block destinated to form table tops.