Weight 17 kilos
Paris, Exposition Universelle, 1900. Glasgow, International Exhibition, 1901.
Henri Bouillet, "Musée Rétrospectif de la classe 94: l'Orfèvrerie Française à l'Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1900, à Paris. Livre deuxième, Le dix-neuvième siècle deuxième période 1860-1900: Rapport du Comité d'Installation", 1912, p. 389, illustrating this tray. Anne Henriette Auffret, "Reflets d'un Mythe: le Spectre de Narcisse dans l'art Française, 1880-1910", p. 26, illustrating this mirror. Figaro, 17th July 1901, with a review of the Glasgow International Exhibition noting "C'est encore l'orfèvrerie française qui triomphe, quelques pas plus loin, avec l'exposition de Christofle qui a tenu à se montrer ici à la hauteur de sa grande et vieille réputation. Il faudrait citer tout ce qu'il a envoyé. Nous bornons à tirer hors de pair un miroir de toilette en argent, véritable bijou d'orfèvrerie, où M. Rozet a représenté 'la Mort de Narcisse' dans une composition sculptée avec un art achevé".
A magnificent Art Nouveau solid silver and green marble toilet mirror entitled "La Métamorphose de Narcisse" by Christofle à Paris after a model by René Rozet, the asymmetrical oval shaped frame enclosing a sheet of mirrored glass set upon a naturalistic base where Narcissus crouches down to gaze upon his reflection into the water, formed from green marble, to the left of him, on the edge of the frame stands the nude figure of Echo with long hair and arms raised, with a further nude female figure lying upon the upper right of the frame, the whole encrusted with flowering narcissi and reeds, the reverse of the mirror as beautiful as the front showing an idealised landscape with a classical temple beside a lake, backed by mountains and bordered by oak, willow and other trees as well as rushes, water lilies and narcissi
Paris, date circa 1900
Height 77 cm.
Weight 17 kilos.
This remarkable Art Nouveau mirror tells the story of Narcissus, a handsome youth and the nymph Echo whose love for him went unrequited. According to Ovid's rendition of the myth, Echo was condemned by the goddess Juno to repeat only the last words that were spoken to her while, as a punishment for spurning Echo's love, Narcissus was made to fall in love with his own reflection. Having pined away from gazing at himself in a pool, at his death he was changed into a flower that bears his name, which liberally decorate this mirror. It was made by the renowned firm of silversmiths Christofle à Paris after a design by the eminent sculptor René Rozet (1858-1939) and having been first shown at the International Exhibition in Paris 1900 it was then exhibited the following year in Glasgow.