French 18th Century Hand-Carved Limestone Trough, Originally Used to Press Hams
This small heavily-lichened and mossy hand-carved limestone trough has an unusual interior shape, as it was originally used to press hams. We love it for its fabulous patina and deep well that is water-tight and so can be used as a fountain in a petite garden or on a terrace. However, you can always use it as a planter and we can drill drain holes in it upon request. It has unusual “cut” corners and has slightly irregular exterior dimensions, as it was hand-carved long ago. If placed directly on damp soil in a shady spot, the moss will green up and you will be amazed at how much there is. Dimensions are as follows: 30.5” wide on one long side x 32” wide on the opposing long side x 21” deep on one short side x 22” deep on the opposing short side x 19.75” high x 11” internal depth.
Rare Large 17th C French Hand-Carved Limestone Corner Trough
Truly a very rare and special piece from Cognac, France, this trough was hand-carved to fit into a corner and, as such, has a rounded or bowed front on two sides, while the other two sides are flat. Originally used as a water cistern, it has a lightly-weathered surface with some moss, as it sat under a covered roof for centuries. There is an old repair to the front right of the curved side that shows as a vertical line, but it’s not ugly and in fact, will weather over in a few years. The trough is entirely watertight, but the photos do show a small area of dampness around our makeshift corks that we use to plug the original two drain holes. It will not leak once you have it properly plugged. It would make a fabulous water feature and is sufficiently deep to hold koi and water plants galore. Or plant it up with a spectacular array of flowers and vines. Please email or call us for better photos if you want. These aren’t the greatest! Please note that this piece weighs about 3000 lbs and will require a forklift to unload from the delivery truck. It should be installed on a concrete base to prevent sinking into the ground. The trough is hardy in all climates, provided that you empty it and cover the top in locations where freezing occurs in the winter.
France, CA 1650
Dimensions are as follows:
H: 26 in; Right Flat Side Width: 42.52in; Left Flat Side Width: 41.13 in; Corners to Front of Curve: 43.31 in; Back corner to front of curve: 53 in; Interior Depth: 20.87 in.
Large Round French Galvanized Tub Planter or Fountain with Handles
We love galvanized pieces because of their resistance to rust, as well as their steel grey/blue patina. This tub is a beauty and very utilitarian because of its large size. It’s large enough to place a recirculating pump inside with a flume of water and water plants to hide the pump, or it would make a magnificent centrally-placed planter and can accommodate a profusion of blooms, topiary, or both. You could also use it for parties as a drinks cooler as it has a drain hole in the bottom that is easy to plug with a cork. In very good condition overall, it does have some minor dents commensurate with age and usage. The opposing handles are a real plus, as it makes carrying this piece around the garden a breeze, plus adds a decorative touch.
France, CA 1950s
H: 19.75 in Diameter without handles: 36.25 in Diameter with handles: 41.5 in
Large Hand Carved 18th Century French Limestone Trough with Patina
One of the finest troughs sourced on our most recent buying trip to France, this stunning hand carved limestone trough is in excellent antique condition and features a fabulous patina with heavy lichen in white, yellow and orange. It has no cracks or repairs and is water-tight. Interior depth is 15.35 inches. Place it in your garden filled with water plants and maybe even a few small koi for a stunning display. There is an original and rusted-through drainpipe on the exterior of one of the short sides that we can cut and remove for you prior to shipping. Please note that in cold winter climates, the trough must be drained and covered, and we recommend that you install it on a concrete slab to prevent sinking and water wicking from the bottom, as it weighs about 2500 lbs.
Rare Form Square French Limestone Square Trough with Rounded Corners
This is a form we have never seen before and the gentleman from whom we purchased it referred to it as a "douche", French for "shower" but if so, it must have been the basin. Hand carved of limestone and dating to the late 18th century, it would make a serene pond in a small garden and is sufficiently deep to float water plants, as well as convert it into a fountain (interior depth is 7 inches). With its lovely lichened patina with patches of moss, it would also make a fabulous planter. Although the bottom edges are chipped and a bit uneven, we have tested it for water-tightness and there are no leaks, nor prior repairs. Please note that we have plugged the large drain-hole with our pneumatic plug that is not included in the sale. In cold winter climates, the trough must be drained and covered and we suggest installation on a concrete slab to prevent sinking and water wicking.
Large 18th C French Stone Trough with Orange & Yellow Lichen
This stunning trough is unusual in its form, being that it is taller and more narrow than others we have seen. This makes it a great candidate for a spot where you need a water feature (or planter) that is long on loos, has great height but where you don't want it to project out so far. Hand-carved of limestone with a darkened patina porting loads of white, yellow and orange lichen, this piece has a shallow indentation on the top of one short side where a pipe once laid to pump water into a house. It is a little bit uneven on the top and sides, but this does not detract for its beauty or utility and wh have done our best to show its form in the photos. This trough has been tested for water-tightness and does not leak, nor does it show any repairs or cracks. We have taken a 360 degree video of it holding water, which you can request from us. In cold climates, this trough must be emptied and covered during winter and we recommend it be installed on a concrete slab or footings to prevent sinking and water wicking. Weight is approximately 2500-2800 lbs. Interior depth is 18.9 inches, so loads of room for water plants and small koi. Please feel free to contact us for trough care in your region.
This simple and very charming limestone wall fountain comes in two parts…the backplate with iron spigot and rosette, and the demilune basin. It sports a stunning weathered surface and is in excellent condition, with no cracks, breaks, repairs or missing pieces. There are a few minor chips to the edges as shown in the photos, but these do not impair the look or functionality. The basin depth of 7.5 inches is sufficiently large to hold a small recirculating pump or you can plumb it directly from the back. Compact enough for a small garden or terrace, but big on looks, this fountain will provide a soothing oasis for any water-lover.
Enormous 19th C Riveted French Copper Cheese Vat Fountain/Planter/Bathtub
What a find! Made of heavy double-walled copper with an iron ring underside the lip and a hand-riveted bottom in a natural dark red surface, this huge tub was originally used to cook the milk for cheese in 19th Century France. We have had three of these in the past, but this is the first one we've ever seen with rivets in an all-natural verdigris surface. Clients love them as soaking tubs, large tree planters, fountains, and even fire pits. In excellent structural condition, with no cracks or repairs, there are some blue spots inside the tub from cupric sulfate that we believe can be scrubbed out and impairs neither functionality nor presentation. The tub holds water to the rim, but we can drill drain holes for you if you like. Please have a look at the last photo that shows how amazing these cheese vats are when set up as fountains. Weight is approximately 250 lbs.
Large English Cast Stone Tazza-Form Urn or Fountain
The superb detailing on this tazza-form urn, as well as its size, presence, and wonderful mossy surface make this piece a stand-out. Architecturally-commanding, it would make the perfect centerpiece in your rose or herb garden, either plumbed as a fountain (there is a good-sized center hole that makes plumbing a snap) or planted up with an exuberant, mounded planting with dripping vines down the side. It also stands alone as a piece of sculpture with its beautiful beaded rim and mossy overgrowth. In very good antique condition, there is a very thin and small crack to the edge shown in photo #10, as well as a few old weathered-over chips to the rim that do not impair its beauty or functionality. Made of cast stone and in two parts, it is very heavy and requires 4 men to lift the bowl. It should be sited on a concrete footing or piece of stone to prevent moisture wicking and should be emptied and covered during the winter in harsh climates.
Now here is a show-stopper for lovers of faux bois! The very rare single-piece kidney-shaped pond is sufficiently deep to float water plants or pot it up with your favorite flowers or veggies. The moss-laden bridge is original to the pond, but lifts off for easy transport and you can walk on it! There is a small old repair to the back edge of the bridge that is very solid and in no way impacts looks or serviceability. The pond is meant to be sunk into the ground, but is also very attractive left above grade. We have applied multiple coats of black rubberized sealant on the exterior of the pond, as well as fixed the cracks and applied waterproof sealant on the entire interior, so the pond is watertight. We would recommend that this piece not be installed below grade in a garden located in harsh climates because the freeze-thaw cycle will wreak havoc with the pond. It will, however, be perfectly fine left outdoors year-round in cold climates if placed on feet or footings, left above grade, emptied and covered for the winter. The bridge will be fine left uncovered. For the true faux bois connoisseur, this is a piece not to be missed.
Round-Edged 18th C Hand-Carved Cornish Granite Trough
We so love granite from Cornwall and we were lucky enough to score two gorgeous troughs on our last buying trip. This one is the smaller of the two and features a rectangular shape with beautifully-rounded corners and a heavily weathered surface complete with lichen and moss. It is the perfect size for a small water feature or a planter and granite is the hardest of stone, so no worries about leaving this beauty outside in any climate year-round uncovered. Please note weight is approximately 1000 lbs., but we will palletize it for shipping.
We so love granite from Cornwall and we were lucky enough to score two gorgeous troughs on our last buying trip. This one is the larger of the two and featured a nearly oval shape with beautifully-rounded corners and a heavily weathered surface complete with lichen and moss. It is the perfect size for a water feature or a planter and granite is the hardest of stone, so no worries about leaving this beauty outside in any climate year-round uncovered. Please note weight is approximately 1250 lbs., but we will palletize it for shipping. Please note that one end of the trough is 15 inches; high, while the other end is 13 inches high. This is normal for hand-carved troughs of this age and granite is so hard that the taller end can be placed below grade by 2 inches in any climate without risk of cracking. Or you can use a shim on the shorter end.
This magnificent and very large hand-carved limestone trough features a pale creamy patina with lichen and some residual ivy vines. It had been lined around the inside bottom edge with a skim-coat of color-matched cement (as we found it) but when we tested it for water-tightness, we found that an old repair had given away and needed reinforcement. It is now without leaks and would make a fabulous fountain or water feature. Please note that the weight is on the order of 4000 lbs and a forklift is required for shipping and delivery. Perfect as a focal point in a large garden, either as a fountain or as a planter. In the last photo, this trough is the one to the far left-hand side.
France, CA 1800.
H: 29.75 in D: 42 in W: 82 in Internal Depth: 21.75 in
Magnificent French 19th C Zinc Fountain with Provenance
This magnificent 19th century zinc fountain was purchased from the NY estate of Helen Finch Foulds, heir to the Finch Pruyn Lumber Company in Glens Falls, NY, and best known for her $4.5 Million bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the late 1950s. It depicts a winged putto holding a fish aloft and out of the reach of a child triton, on a lily leaf-covered base and is in original, unpainted surface. An allegory of Love, this fountain was inspired by pieces commissioned by Louis XIV who built Versailles, and is signed indistinctly on its base. Such exceptional works of art were always sculpted first by a well-known and respected artist prior to casting, and we believe this is likely the work of Joseph Louie August Claudin (French, 1837-1913), an Alsatian sculptor. It is in excellent condition overall, with a small piece missing from the base (likely where it was plumbed) and two small seam separations that do not affect either the look or functionality of the fountain. Zinc fountains of this period were cast in multiple pieces from the original sculpture and then assembled and seamed together by hand. It would make a stunning centerpiece in a formal garden, slightly elevated in a round pool and surrounded by a parterre of boxwood. Alternatively, leave it unplumbed and enjoy it as the gorgeous piece of sculpture it is.
France, CA 1880.
H: 31.5 in Outer Diameter 30.5 in Inner Diameter 24.5 in
We have a secret source in the Southwest of France that continually comes up with exciting finds. This time, it is a large and impressive early 19th C round hand-carved Volvic (volcanic) stone basin with a large drain-hole in the center. The mid-20th C hand-carved hollow cylindrical pedestal was accidentally broken during transport, so we are selling the basin by itself. It would make a perfect low fountain or central planting display in any garden, but its clean lines lend themselves particularly well to a more sleek contemporary space. A small pump can fit neatly inside the basin and you can buy different heads for it online that will give you a variety of water effects, from a gently bubbling fountain to a central flume. There is a bit of rust staining to one side of the basin, that we can try to remove, but it may affect the overall patina. We will soon be filling most of the large central hole in the basin to make it a more suited to a standard plug.
This lovely carved stone piece date from the early 19th C and has a beautifully weathered surface with minor chipping to the edges. Found in Yorkshire, it has a largely blackened surface from the coal dust accumulated over 2 centuries outside. Perfect as a pedestal for a round figure or as a mini-fountain with the water gently cascading up through the hole and over the sides of the grindstone.
Large 18th C French Carved Stone Mortar Planter/Fountain
This late 18th C mortar was originally used to grind food stuffs or medicines but it is the perfect size for a planter or small fountain. Hand-carved from a hard stone from the Var region of France, it is in excellent condition, with a couple of minor surface hairline cracks, but holds water. It can easily be converted into a small fountain, as it is sufficiently deep to hold a small recirculating pump, or we can drill a center drain hole to convert it into a planter. The patina and coloration are superb and you will not be disappointed with this one! Interior depth = 10".
Large French Limestone Cider Mill Planter/Birdbath/Fountain
We found this wonderful all original cider mill basin near Agen, in the SW of France, and it is a stunner! Loaded with moss and lichen, it is in two parts that can easily be mortared together should you wish to use it as a fountain or a birdbath. Alternatively, we think it would be fabulous with the two halves abutted and then planted with a profusion of succulents. We have made a small repair to the edge of one half to repair a break incurred in shipping, but it is barely detectable. At over 43" in diameter, it would make a stunning focal point in your herb or rose garden. This piece weighs on the order of 500 lbs., so a forklift or 4+ strong men will be required to place it. Thankfully, it is in 2 parts.
Pair of 19th Century Stoneware Lion Fountain Masks
This decorative pair of glazed stoneware lion heads originally graced the facade of a 19th century building, but we have drilled them to operate as fountain masks. Hung above your wall fountain or emptying into a stone trough they add a classical note to any garden. Their true creamy color is seen in photo #4. Minor chipping to edges commensurate with age. Priced and sold individually.
Enormous French 18th C Carved Stone Roller Sculpture
Known in French as "rouleaux", these large hand-carved stone pieces were originally used to grind wheat, but now decorate the French countryside as gate piers on either side of a driveway. This one is enormous, loaded with moss and lichen, and dates to the mid-18th C. It features its original wrought iron spike at the top, which is inset into the stone with mortar, but we would think about removing it so this wonderful monolithic piece could stand alone in your garden as a piece of ancient, yet contemporary-looking, sculpture. Alternatively, it may be possible to drill a vertical hole through the center to convert it into a fountain. Either way, it makes for a unique and statuesque piece in either a classical or contemporary garden. Please note this piece weighs about 2000 lbs. and requires a forklift.