Possibly by Jean Leroy, probably altered in London in 1698 by Ralph Leake, altered between 1758 and 1762 by Phillips Garden1661 - 1663

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

This fountain, although altered, is a rare survivor of early French silver. The fountain would have held water and stood on a sideboard, displayed with other pieces of ceremonial silver. The servants would have poured water from it to wash utensils between the courses of a meal.

The fountain must have arrived in England from France before 1698, because an English silversmith made a copy of it in that year. He also created a silver basin for each of the fountains. By 1750, Nathanial Curzon, first Baron Scarsdale, owned the group of two fountains and their basins. In that year, he married Caroline Colyear and had the fountain's cartouche engraved with both of their arms. Until the 1940s, these vessels stood in an alcove in the dining room of the Scarsdales' great home, Kedleston Hall, in Derbyshire, England, designed by Robert Adam.

Very little French silver has survived from the late 1600s because almost all of it was melted down by 1701 at the order of Louis XIV. The silver bullion was used to replenish the French royal treasury, which had been nearly bankrupted by the king's constant wars. This vessel survived because it left France soon after it was made.

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  • Title: Fountain
  • Creator: Possibly by Jean Leroy, probably altered in London in 1698 by Ralph Leake, altered between 1758 and 1762 by Phillips Garden
  • Date: 1661 - 1663
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: 65.1 x 35.9 x 36.2 cm (25 5/8 x 14 1/8 x 14 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Silver
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Fountain
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 82.DG.17
  • Markings: Markings: Stamped on body with the maker's stamp of "J.L.R." flanking a scepter and the device of a laurel wreath and two grains below a fleur-de-lys. Other Markings: A crowned "R" (the warden's mark used between December 30, 1661, and January 26, 1663).
  • Inscription: Inscription: Engraved with the armorial of Curzon and Colyear for Sir Nathaniel Curzon and Caroline Colyear, married in 1750. Secondary Inscription: Base engraved with weightmark "No. 2 348 14" scratched out and "No. 2 363 13" engraved below on foot.
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S101
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Decorative Arts