This magnificent pair of large candlesticks stand on their original feet in the form of lions surmounting orbs. The presence of a dot numbering system on the feet and corresponding dots to the interior of the candlesticks confirms that they were made for each other. In terms of form, the four tiered stems with stepped drip-pans and bases follow 16th-century models: see, for example, the German 16th-century candlestick published by Lockner (op. cit.
). Lion feet can be found on lecterns and candlesticks from both the 15th and 16th centuries. See, for example, the Paschal candelabrum from the Church of Saint-Léonard, Léau (Flanders
..., op. cit.
, nos. 103-104). The present lions, with their stylised manes and tails, recall late Gothic heraldic devices post 1500. Large pairs of early candlesticks are very rare, with few of this scale having been offered on the market in recent years. Such candlesticks would have adorned a church or a fashionable Gothic interior and would undoubtedly have been expensive luxury commissions.
Dinant and Nuremberg were two of the foremost centres for metalwork in the 15th and 16th centuries. The town of Dinant, situated on the river Meuse in modern Belgium, was famed for its brass ware, termed dinanderie
. Significantly, in 1466, many of the town's craftsmen were forced to flee to cities including Nuremberg, when it was sacked by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Objects made in Nuremberg thenceforth in the Dinant style are likewise often referred to as dinanderie
. The relationship between the two centres was consequently very close and it remains difficult to claim with certainty that a particular dinanderie
object was made in one or the other city.
Flanders in the Fifteenth Century: Art and Civilisation, exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 1960, pp. 268-271, nos. 103-104; H. P. Lockner, 'Licht für Kirche und Haus: Mitteleuropäische Messingleuchter des 16. Jahrhunderts', Kunst & Antiquitäten: Zeitschrift für Sammler und Museen, Hannover, fig. 3