Pair of pyramids

Pair of pyramids
Paris, circa 1770
White, Brèche, Brocatelle, Sarrancolin, Campan Payolle Vert and Vert des Alpes marble, gilt bronze
These decorative objects belonged to Antoine de Sartine (1729-1801), lieutenant general of the Paris Police from 1759 to 1774.
Gift of Jules Audéoud, 1885
Inv. 2614-2615
© Photo MAD, Paris / Jean Tholance

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This pair of pyramids is one of the first manifestations of the fascination with ancient Egypt or “Egyptomania” that developed in the early 1770s. The bases of the obelisks bear an inscription to the glory and grandeur of an admired civilisation: “With blocks of stone raised to the heavens, Egypt announced its power to the Universe. This simpler and less ambitious monument cements friendship by recognition / ex dono de Sartine 1773.”