Pair of antique French patinated and gilt bronze candelabra

GBP 45,000.00

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Object Description

These bronze candelabra were created in France in c.1810, when Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor. The candelabra combine Neoclassical and ancient Egyptian motifs, in a manner characteristic of Empire period decorative art.

The candelabra have patinated bronze stems, which are cast as full-length women, who stand with their legs together and arms outstretched in front of them. Each candelabrum has six gilt bronze lights, four of which are carried on the woman’s head. In this way, the women are reminiscent of classical Greek caryatids – female sculptures who supported the entablature of buildings on their heads.

In each piece, the four gilt lights on the woman’s head have short stems, topped by leafy capitals. One light extends directly upwards, and three project out in front. Palmettes curl out from the stem of this central light. The three projecting lights feature short cornucopia-shaped stems, which spring from open-mouthed dogs’ heads. The stems are topped by capitals, shaped like classical urns. Each woman holds two further gilt bronze lights in her hands. These lights are conical, with ball-tip ends and tops decorated with palmettes. In their shape, these lights imitate burning torches.

The women stand on tall patinated and gilt bronze plinths. These are ornamented with gilt winged female figures, carrying baskets on their heads. These women are accompanied by Basenji dogs, which are often depicted in ancient Egyptian art. Gilt classical masks, scrolling forms with cockerel heads, and palmettes decorate the sides of the plinths. The plinth corners are fitted with gilt foliate motifs, and the plinths are set on four gilt paw feet.

Each candelabrum is mounted onto a four-cornered gilt bronze plinth.

Object Details

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London W1K 2PP
United Kingdom

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