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Details & Cataloguing

Excellence Française

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A gilt-bronze chandelier, Louis XVI
the glass lantern with fluted pilasters and fruiting foliate garlands, surmounted by vases, feathers and scrolled foliate branches, enclosing a central stem issuing four foliate scrolled candlearms (the candlearms later, fitted for electricity)
Haut. 120 cm., diam.56 cm. ; Heigh 47¼in., diameter 22in.
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Provenance

Collection of Joseph de Riquet de Caraman, 17th Prince de Chimay (1808-1886);
Sale Prince de Caraman-Chimay in his hôtel particulier 17 quai Malaquais, Paris, 23-24 April 1885, lot 44;
Sale Collection of Duc de Talleyrand, 28 May 1899, lot 195

Catalogue Note

The gilt-bronze lantern here presented is exceptional for its size and quality of execution. Few have survived the French Revolution. It is worthy to note a few remarkable pieces delivered by Daguerre for Louis XVI at Compiegne and which today are preserved at the Hôtel de Matignon (see P. Verlet, French bronzes of the eighteenth century, Paris, 1987, 319, Fig. 353). Our piece certainly has a Royal or Princely provenance and is similar to one that adorned the palace of Luxembourg, the residence of the Count of Artois, under the Old Regime, as described in the revolutionary inventory “ Une grande et riche lanterne de bronze ciselé et doré or moulu de forme ronde (…) les quatre montants à cannelures et branches tournantes (…) le tout assemblé avec le chapiteau et corniche à postes et feuilles surmonté du couronnement à quatre consoles en S ornés en haut de guirlandes de roses et par le bas de culots d’ornements ” (O/2/470, Luxembourg, Effects on Export and Foreign Trade from the Furniture of Monsieur, No. 13). However, whilst the lantern belonging to the Count d'Artois was very similar in design, the dimensions were larger.

The present gilt-bronze lantern on offer was part of the collection of the Princes of Chimay and more particularly, that of Joseph de Riquet de Carman, 17th Prince of Chimay (1808-1886). Heir to an important Belgian family dynasty, Joseph de Riquet de Carman was a diplomat and entrepreneur who divided his time between his Parisian home, the hôtel Pagerie on the quai Malaquais, built by François Mansart and which he purchased in 1852 (today the National School of Fine Arts) and the Chimay family castle in Belgium which was restored by the Louvre architect, Hector-Martin Lefuel. Part of his collection was sold at the time of his sale on April 23 and 24, 1885, and our lantern is cited at lot 44. It was most likely acquired by Napoleon Louis Talleyrand-Périgord (1832-1898) as it was subsequently listed as lot 195 in his sale, after his death on 28 May 1899.

Excellence Française

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Paris