Pair of French Renaissance style Ormolu Wall Mirrors with Candelabra
French, 19th Century
Height 75cm, width 41cm, depth 16cm
Crafted from ormolu, or gilt bronze, in the charming and wonderfully eclectic Renaissance manner, this pair of mirrors is a fine example of 19th Century French decorative art. Each mirror features an oversize, richly detailed gilt bronze frame, almost identically cast, and the bronze is pierced to produce a latticework-like effect of scrolls and foliate forms.
The gilt bronze is set with a host of motifs, including busts, masks, and grotesques. A male face on each centres the mirrors below the glass, from whose mouths issue forth a trio of gilt bronze candle branches, in keeping stylistically with the rest of the works. A female bust centres the mirrors above, and these feature cornucopia like capital surmounts. A pair of smaller delicate female faces are mounted in profile either side, beneath which the extensive acanthus leaves and scrolls pour along the mirror’s sides. A pair of lion’s heads can also be discerned lower down.
Nineteenth century and particularly Belle Époque era pieces drew heavily on the styles of earlier periods. Artists and craftsmen were able to draw connections between their output and still popular historic movements, yet were also free to expand their oeuvre by using these influences as starting points for their own inventions. The elaborate and profuse nature of these elegant mirrors’ design indicates a master bronzier at work, delighting in the intricacy of his creation to create these charming and majestic pieces.