A pair of mercury-gilt-bronze candelabra, the bronze figures after a design by Etienne Maurice Falconet, the gilt-bronze elements after François Rémond, late Louis XVI, late 18th/early 19th century
- gilt-bronze, patinated bronze, blue marble
- Haut. 98 cm, larg. 42,5 cm, prof. 28 cm ; Height 38 1/2 in, width 16 2/3 in, depth 11 in
D. Cooper, Trésors d'Art des Grandes Familles, Paris, 1965, Les Princes de Beauvau au château d'Haroué, p. 302 (illustrated)
Falconet à Sèvres ou l'art de plaire, exhibition catalogue, Musée national de Céramique, Sèvres, 6 November 2001 - 4 February 2002
H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 20
C. Baulez, Versailles, deux siècles d'histoire de l'art, Paris, 2007
Commissioned by Madame de Pompadour in 1755, the model for L'Amour menaçant in the guise of Cupid was first produced in marble and exhibited at the Salon of 1757, and mentioned in the brochure for the Salon of 1761 as, "130, a marble figure representing a cupid; belonging to Madame the Marquise de Pompadour". The model for the Nymph or Little Girl hiding Cupid's bow, or perhaps Psyche, was never produced in marble by Falconet, although this model was mentioned in the brochure for the Salon of 1761. The latter, however, was executed as a pendant for L'Amour menaçant, a popular theme during the 18th century in which Cupid captures the hearts of mortals and leads them at his will. Whilst these two groups were widely produced in porcelain by Sèvres and Wedgwood, they were also fashioned in bronze, as seen in the present pair of candelabra.
The bronze artist, François Rémond (1747-1812)
The Falconet figures produced in bronze were often used as group figures, essentially to decorate candelabra. The name of the foundry for these figures remains unknown, however the origin of the gilt-bronze mounts is attributable to François Rémond. This attribution, advocated by C. Baulez and P. Hughes (op. cit. 2007), is based on the similarity with other pieces realized by Rémond and in particular the pair bought by Count Stroganoff directly from the marchand-mercier dealer, Dominique Daguerre in 1785 (sold Christie's New York, 21 June 2012, lot 1200, with another similar example in the Wallace Collection, London, inv. F140-141). Since its creation in the 18th century, this model has continued to be very popular. Whilst the designs for candelabra boasted several variations to the candlearms, the bases primarily kept the same shape, with only the choice of marble differing from one model to another. During the 18th century the use of speckled red or blue Turquin was often employed. An almost identical pair of candelabra with blue Turquin marble base was sold in Paris, Drouot Montaigne, Ader, Picard, Tajan, on 22 November 1987, lot 214 and then sold Sotheby's London, 13 June 1997, lot 61. Another, similar Louis XVI pair of candelabra, was sold Sotheby's New York, 21 May 2004, lot 102.