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Warming Dish

A work made of gilt silver and gilt copper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilt silver and gilt copper.


c. 1794-1819


Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764-1843)
Probably designed after Charles Percier (French, 1764-1838) and
Pierre François Léonard Fontaine (French, 1762-1853)
Paris, France

About this artwork

These objects for the dining table are part of a vast service made for Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister Pauline on the occasion of her marriage to the Roman nobleman Camillo Borghese, Sixth Prince of Sulmona.

In the years after the French Revolution, architects and designers adopted the visual language of ancient Greece and Rome to express the new imperial order. Napoleon, hoping to promote Paris’s luxury trades, commissioned several silver dinner services as gifts to be sent abroad. The slender outlines and smooth surfaces of the vessels in the Borghese service contrast with the rich decoration.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Martin-Guillaume Biennais


Warming Dish


Paris (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Gilt silver and gilt copper


MARKS: “[lozenge with seated monkey and two pellets above B, maker’s mark],” on inner surface of cover; “[head of Apollo with P to left of oval shield, unofficial Paris assay mark 1794-97] / [cock with 1 to right in horizontal octagonal shield, Paris assay mark 1809-19,” above lower rim of outer surface of cover and above armorials on heater base INSCRIPTIONS: “Biennais Orfevre de lrs Mtés Imperiales et Royales à Paris,” engraved on inner surface of cover; “[Borghese crest surmounted with Napoleonic crown],” engraved on outer surface of cover and above lower rime of heater base


27.9 × 20.3 cm (11 × 8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles V. Hickox

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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