586: Victorian Gilt-Copper Electrotype Ewer And Basin
Victorian Gilt-Copper Electrotype Ewer and Basin in the Mannerist Taste, 1865, Elkington & Co., Birmingham, in the 16th century French manner of Francois Briot, including a lidded ewer, h. 11-3/4", and circular basin, dia. 8", both decorated all over with mascarons, human figures, animals and mythological beasts. Elkington' s grand electrotype reproductions of Mannerist and Baroque metalwork were the subject of a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York: "Victorian Electrotypes: Old Treasures, New Technology", November-April 2012. The exhibition showcased around 110 pieces by Elkington and Franchi & Son, both of whom were contracted in the 1870's by the M.M.A, in conjunction with England's South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria & Albert), to create faithful replicas of the great masterworks of Europe. By the early 20th century, as the museum acquired original works of art, the electrotypes were consigned to storage. Time, however, has transformed these meticulously detailed replicas into fine antiques in their own right, and the recent exhibition restored them to their rightful status.