A take on the greek tale of Narcissus, who was distinguished by his beauty, who rejected the advances of Echo and was punished by the god Nemesis. He went to the river for a drink and caught a glimpse of his own reflection and gazed upon himself until he died. It is believed the story came from the Greek belief that is was unlucky to see your own reflection.
During the Art Nouveau period, many artists incorporated myths, legends, gods and goddesses into their work. Though this piece depicts a woman, one of the most common motifs of Art Nouveau, we can't help but think the artist had Narcissus in mind.
This jardiniere depicts a woman, beautifully adorned with flowers and feather finery, gazing down into a mirror. Her expression is soft and sweet. A small planter is disguised behind her, perfect for planting succulents or vines. There are two small holes in the back also making this piece mountable.
This jardiniere is fashioned from Spelter, a zinc-lead alloy as opposed to bronze, a copper alloy. Spelter became the more popular choice, particularly during WWI when copper became more scarce. Spelter also produced a finer smoother cast that required less refinery work than Bronze. Many spelter pieces were also painted or gilded creating a higher quality finish that helps prevent oxidation to the metal. This piece appears to be painted as you can see some areas where the paint or gilding has begun to wear.
This piece is signed by SF Lamand. Unfortunately we could not find any information about the artist.
Date: 1900s Materials: Spelter (Zinc alloy) Measurements: 6 1/2" x 10" x 6 5/8" Markings: SF Lamand Condition: Very good There is some wear to the painted outer layer. There is a green mark on one of the pertruding stems on the right side. Some overall superficial marks and scratches. There is a small crack on the inside of the planter. Does not detract. Many spelter and bronze jardinieres of this era have either tin or ceramic bowls within the planter, this one is missing it's insert and therefor there is a hole at the bottom of the planter. An insert will be needed if used for plants.