DescriptionA Pair of Directoire Garden Sphinxes of Madame de Pompador and Madame du Barry, Damparis, France, circa 1795-1850
Marks: Jacob Delafon et Cie Pouilly s/Saone et Belvoye
32-1/2 inches high x 15-1/2 inches wide x 42 inches deep (82.6 x 34.3 x 106.7 cm)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF CAROLYN AND STARKE TAYLOR, DALLAS
The pair of female sphinxes, depicting versions of Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, carved from limestone. A similar pair of figures resides at the Château d'Enghien in Belgium. The pair was later retailed in the late 19th century by the Jacob Delafon company, whose company logo is incised to rear.
Austin "Starke" (1922-2014) and Carolyn married on April 7, 1973 and were active, passionate collectors during their 42 year marriage.
Dallasites remember Starke, who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II for the US Navy, as their two-time mayor from 1983 to 1987. He worked for better public housing, encouraged development in southern Dallas, led the initiative to create the DART rail system, and co-founded Austin Street Shelter to help the homeless and the mentally ill. He also gained final approval for the widening of North Central Expressway in addition to many other long-term improvement projects for the city.
Carolyn shared Starke's passion for social service, raising funds and awareness through countless charity events. At the time of Starke's mayoral tenure, Dallas had the highest infant mortality rate in the nation, attributed to a lack of education, resources, and poor prenatal care. She founded a program that worked with local agencies to curb infant mortality and allow young mothers to finish portions of their education that had been abandoned due to pregnancy.
When Starke and Carolyn married, Starke was the president of Starke Taylor & Son cotton merchants in Dallas. The global nature of the business required the couple to participate in extensive travel overseas to a variety of locations in Asia and Europe, and this travel in turn nurtured their shared passion for collecting. It was their experiences abroad that led the couple to collect items that reminded them of memory and place: "We experienced so many wonderful things-magnificent palaces and temples, many forms of craftsmanship, and some of the most famous art in the world." The collection the Taylors compiled would serve as a constant reminder of the unforgettable memories the couple shared. Each of their possessions exude a purpose to educate and enrich: "We have been lucky enough to have had in our home Renoirs, Cassatts, Pissarros and a large collection of Morisot.
"We felt a responsibility to future generations... each piece is yours for only a moment, one day belonging to others or for the education and enjoyment of generations to come."
Please enjoy the lots in this section which provide a lasting glimpse into the unending energy and dedication that characterized every chapter of the Taylors' lives together.
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