1

A Day
Observed

A story presented by

Scene 1:
‘Morning’

It was a bright cold day with glassy surfaces that looked hard.
Into the square frame he stood as if in a dream.

What emerged was precisely what he expected to find: a reflection of memory images. Contemplating his face in the photo frame he waited.

1960s lucite and chrome 3 image photo frame

By the steady hands of his watch, he listened to time. Every day for the past sixteen days he saw her. Silver lingered in the crease of
an open book.

Rolex burlwood dial, Jubilee bracelet Miniature
oar English university trophy, sterling silver.

So absorbed in his thoughts
he hardly saw the platinum catch-all, the key, or the revelation locked inside those lapis lazuli cufflinks tossed unmistakably in cold blue.

Hans Hanson catch-all. Mid-century, Danish sterling silver. Stirrup money clip, by Hermès. Padlock keyring, sterling silver " Tie bar-slide " Round lapis lazuli cufflinks" Square cufflinks, two tone rose and yellow gold, diamond."

Only by whirling on his heel could he hope to comprehend
the panorama.

Shoe horn, circa 1930. American sterling silver
Scene 2:
‘Noon’

He remained.Trapped in that enormous room,
unmistakably familiar in feeling yet so peculiar.

Above the mantle was
displayed an Austrian hound
of impeccable integrity.

Hagenauer sculpture, 1930

His gaze fell on the letter opener. By accident she had learnt more about his life from the contents of that letter than anywhere.

Dunhill letter opener with lighter top, circa 1950

Cleopatra’s eye reflected
the sun. Through the hypnotism
of precious metals there
emerged a dark slender shadow.

Cleopatra’s eye magnifying glass. Mid-century, gold plated
Hermès weighted pen. Silver plated.

A lighter presented itself, smooth to the touch
it gave the impression of
intelligent company.

Table lighter St Dupont, circa 1960. Gold plate
Scene 3:
‘Evening’

All this time light was receding from the room.

“I should explain why I spend so much time here”, said the silhouette. Leaves moved like shadows across her eyes.

Hermès rope bottle opener. Plated silver.

It’s not too late to turn back. Time moved with faint sounds.

Venini hourglass. Hand-blown lurid Murano glass.

He unscrewed the telescopic cup, rolled and remained still. Black eyes on the dice prophesied a new cycle.

Telescopic cup, J. E. Cauldwell. Gold plated. Dice,
Cartier for America. Vitreous enamel glass, silver

Staring down at the varnished surface her mouth worried him while her eyes examined the gold cufflink.

Audemar Piguet evening watch. gold plated, Roman dial, alligator strap
Scene 4:
‘Night’

Everything went crashing black.

Pale graceful hands placed
the gold stud box delicately
on the table.

Men’s Edwardian jewellery box, 1910. Gold plated.
Mid-century British cigar ashtray. Sterling silver and crystal.

He lit a match to make sure the watch had really stopped. Smoke lingered from its vesta case.

Realist wrapped tobacco leaf march vesta. Silver.

As the travel clock neared
one the figure vanished into dappled shadows.

Art Deco Jaeger LeCoultre travel clock.
Gold and silver plated. Retailed by Aspray.

On the newly varnished table two bronze shot cups sat alive like in a dream.

Tooth shot cup by Foundwell. Bronze and silver plated.
Set of 4, 3 silver 1 gold. Heath & Midleton champagne decanters circa 1900.
Sterling silver and glass.
The End

‘A DAY OBSERVED’
A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy, creative direction OK-RM,
notes by Kate O’Brien and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

‘A DAY OBSERVED’
A story by FOUNDWELL
Photography Matthieu Lavanchy,
creative direction OK-RM
notes by Kate O’Brien
and objects selected by Alan Bedwell

Early and Rare Sterling Silver Gorham Martini Mixing Bucket

Golf Cocktail Shaker
and Matching Golf Bag Cup

Sterling Silver Woven Bottle Coaster

Foundwell

A SELECTION OF ITEMS BY THE PRODUCER OF
CRAFTED GOODS & PURVEYOR OF ANTIQUE WATCHES,
JEWELLERY & OTHER SUCH OBJECTS

Shopping Bag

Your cart is empty.


A hand made, solid eighteen carat gold, hand engraved table lighter in the form of the Column in the center of the Place Vendôme, in Paris, France.  The sculpture is made by one of the world's most luxurious and prestigious ateliers; Van Cleef & Arpels (VCA).  

 

The Place Vendome is without doubt one of the most beautiful architectural ensembles in Paris.  It was built at the initiative of the Marquis de Louvois, superintendent of buildings under Louis XIV, and designed by Joules Hardouin-Mansart.  In 1665, the king bought the Hotel de Vendôme and the first convent of the Capuchin order in order to create the space to achieve it, and ground as broken in 1686, and thus it was originally names Place Louis le Grand.   At the opening of the square in 1699 a large bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV dressed as Caesar, by François Girardon, sat in the center.

The illustrious equestrian statue of Louis XIV, sculpted in 1692, was removed on 13 August 1792.  Its fall led to the death of Reine Violet, a news vendor of Marat’s newspaper “l’Ami du Peuple”.  In order to bring down the statue, she threw a rope over it. Unaware that the bolts from the bronze horse and Louis XIV had been removed previously, the news vendor, suspended to the rope, ended up being squashed by the falling statue. The only remnant of the statue is exhibited in the Carnavalet Museum is the bronze foot of the king, weighing 150 kgs.
 

On 19 February 1806 it was decreed that rue Napoléon (now rue de la Paix) would be cut in between Place Vendôme and boulevard des Capucines, authorising the de facto destruction of the Capucines convent. The decree was intended to create Paris’ most beautiful street and also included a requirement that a monumental column be raised in the centre of the square following the model of Trajan’s Column in Rome. The Paris column was to be built from the bronze of the canons confiscated during the battle of Austerlitz.

The column was sculpted by Etienne Bergeret and was originally surmounted by a statue of Napoleon in Roman dress by Antoine-Denis Chaudet.  At each change of political regime, the statue which sits on top of the column was replaced by another one. Thus, the first statue of Napoleon depicted him dressed as a Roman emperor, holding in his left hand the terrestrial globe topped with a winged-Victory. This statue was briefly replaced by that of King Henri IV on April 3rd 1814 and then, under the reign of Louis XVIII by a fleur-de-lis. On 28th July 1833, under the July Monarchy, the top of the column hosted a statue depicting Napoleon as “Petit Caporal” (dressed with a frock-coat and wearing a cocked-hat), sculpted by Charles Emile Seurre. On 4th November 1863, by order of Napoleon III, a statue similar to the first one, with Napoleon dressed as Caesar and wearing a laurel wreath, found its way to the top of the column. The former statue of Napoleon as “Petit Caporal” was transferred to the main courtyard of the Hôtel des Invalides where it still stands today.

This is an exceptional piece of art and craftsmanship, which also has the added practicality of being a  lighter for the table.  It is painstakingly rendered to copy all the hand sculpted bronze relief panels that climb the actual column, all the way to the perched figure of Napoleon dressed as Cesar, that still remains atop the original. 

The lighter has French assay control marks on both the upper part, and the side of the base with the French eagle head mark for eighteen carat gold.  Its upper portion hinges open to reveal a classic wick lighter which fills from the bottom with liquid petrol (not butane, but as readily available today).  The lighter is also hand signed Van Cleef & Arpels along with the VCA reface stamp, on the base.

Only a very small number of these lighters were produced, believed to be around eight, one of which resides in VCA's personal museum collection, which is exhibited from time to time around the world.  This piece is particularly important to VCA as it this column that is in fact the logo of their company.  A superb piece of craftsmanship in excellent condition.  Made in France, circa 1950's.


Price $34,500.00

×

Enquire
Item Dimensions
Height
4.25 inches (10.795cm)
Width
1 inches (2.54cm)