PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION TOGETHER WITH LOT 139
each with five candlebranches supported by patinated caryatids on a socle with swags
Mario Crespi (1879-1962) and Fosca Crespi, 15 Sant' Andrea, Milan, illustrated in situ in the antichambre on the ground floor, circa 1961, reproduced here in fig.1.
A pair of armchairs with this Crespi Provenance will be offered for sale in these Rooms, The Treasures sale, 4th July 2012.
The Crespi Provenance:
In 1952, when Mario and Fosca Crespi decided to settle in via Sant' Andrea, in Milan, the preferred location of many Italian aristocrats, they embarked upon a momentous restoration project of their palazzo, which took a very long time to restore to its original splendour.
Mrs Crespi, known as Fosca Crespi to the Milanese, and simply Fosca to her inner circle of friends was described by her friends as follows:"She is an incredible woman, with an extreme vitality, interested in everything, she writes twenty letters per day, she plays the piano, studies English, she has met Toscanini, Eleonora Duse, d'Annunzio, she is the daughter of Puccini..." The latter reference was due to her mother's marriage to Puccini after Fosca was born, who was treated as a daughter by him.
Her husband, Senator Mario Crespi, was one of the owners of the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. When Fosca entertained her guests in the drawing room, the sumptuous interior included, 'emerald velour and mahogany by Jacob. On the wall, gondolas by Caneletto on the water of the Grand Canal. A child by Gainsborough, the piano belonging to Puccini.'
Fosca Crespi presided over a residence with six salons, 200 antique and Renaissance Italian bronzes, 18 Canalettos, Guardis, several old masters paintings as well as many Italian primitives, all surrounded by precious Louis XV and XVI pieces of furniture. She stated in an interview with Eveline Schlumberger op. cit., "The collections, that is my husband. The pieces of furniture, then that is me." Furthermore she stated, "Because I love France. When I love the things coming from a particular country, you have to try to do everything you can to have these objects within your house, don't you agree?"
J-P.Samoyault, Pendules et bronzes d'ameubleument entrés sous le 1er Empire, musée national du Château de Fontainebleau, catalogue des collections de mobilier, Paris,1989, p.155, no.132, illustrates a pair of candelabra in Fontainebleau, from the Consulat period, with identical figures supporting basket on their heads of differing design and according to Baulez, the caryatids were created for Daguerre by the fondeur Rémond in around 1785. See also Dumonthier, Les Bronzes du Mobilier National, Paris, 1910, plate XXIII, ill. 3.
Eveline Schlumberger, `Deux mécènes milanais installent à la française leurs collections dans un palais' , Connaissance des Arts, October 1961, p. 108.
This model was created by François Rémond around 1785 for the duc de Penthièvre and the original had the same caryatid figures sometimes in patinated bronze or alternatively in gilt-bronze as on the present pair of candelabra. The marchand -mercier Daguerre received various examples of this model with variations. Due to the success of this model, Rémond reproduced this during the Consulat, adapting it to suit the taste of the day. See also Christian Baulez, Le Luminaire de la Princesse Kinsky, in L' Estampille-L'Objet d' Art, May 1991, n. 247, pages 84-99, for a clock by Rémond incorporating the same female figures in drapery..
A similar pair of candelabra was sold Sotheby's Monaco,18th June 1994, lot 272.
A pair of candelabra attributed to Rémond with identical figures supporting similar wicker baskets on their heads, was sold in these Rooms 16th June 1995, lot 131. Also see a pair of porte-torchères by Rémond, with identical figures, illustrated in la Gazete de l'Hôtel Drouot,12th June 2009.
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