An extremely rare and ultra smart, mirror image pair of 19th century, Bohemian glass antique lamps in classical Greek revival style. The opaque glass lamps in shades of terracotta and black. This smart combination of colours is thought to have been inspired by the early 19th century, Wedgwood, Greek revival shapes produced in black basalt and Rosso Antico. The lamps produced by the renowned Bohemian, Harrach glass works.
The kingdom of Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which, more or less, covered the area of the modern-day Czech Republic. The Harrach glass works is one of the oldest glass houses still in operation. In fact, in 2012, it celebrated it's 300th anniversary! Harrach was originally established by Count Harrach in 1712. The factory is located in the small Czech town of Harrachov.
The lamps of slender spindle form, a classical Greek vase shape. The lamps finely decorated in terracotta enamel with Greek classical figure subjects. The decorative subjects painted in the Athenian red figure style of circa 500 BC. These early Greek vase shapes were fired with a black glazed ground with the figures reserved to show the underlying terracotta.
The two dancing figures, taken from Greek mythology, are maenads, pronounced "maynads". Maenads were the female followers of the cult of Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy. Dionysus was associated with drunkenness, madness and unrestrained sexuality. The maenads were the most significant members of the god's retinue. Their name literally translates as "raving ones." Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by Dionysus into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of music, dancing and wine.
The figures, as shown, in a wild dance, shaking upheld tambourines, holding Dionysus' attribute, the thyrsus, a staff of giant fennel, covered with ivy vines and always topped with a pine cone, all symbols of fertility. This detail taken from a Greek vase painting circa 500 BC "a maenad - a raving one".
The figures are shown wearing a classic Greek, full length, diaphanous tunic or Chilton. The rims of the lamps decorated with a wide band of elongated Greek key. The maenad figure subjects painted in matte terracotta enamel. The painting by Franz Herrmann, one of the most accomplished of the Harrach decorators.
The Greek revival movement began in the mid 18th century, lasting almost until the close of the 19th century 1750–1890. There were several revisits of this ultra smart design which are generally known today as periods of “Greek Revival”.
The lamps seated in solid bronze, matte gold plated bases, the bases detailed with a smart, satin black enamelled finish. A minor discoloration on the reverse side, at the base of one of the lamps. These very smart lamps shown with a pleated, black silk lampshade suggestion.
Please note - camera flash can be seen on the reflective surfaces of these lamps.
Emperor Franz Joseph I - Circa 1880
Overall height (including shades) 28"/72cm
Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications