Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios writes the following (translated from the Italian):
A preparatory drawing for this lamp was in the collection of the Artemis Group of London, in whose catalogue it was listed as number 57A in their exhibition that took place in 1991, consisting of a number of finished projects and sketches from the workshop of Valadier (1). The drawing entered the collection of John Winter, and was sold in his sale Sotheby’s London, 10 December 2015, lot 129.
The drawing is close to the hand of Luigi Valadier himself and as stated undoubtedly comes from his workshop.
In the design, the knops that interrupt the stem, though similar in shape, do not match exactly the work offered here, though the font and spouts correspond perfectly. Other small differences can be found in the decoration of the base, but the design substantially corresponds to the silver. Two other examples of this model exist, both already known to me, which will be shown in the exhibition dedicated to Luigi Valadier to be held at the Frick Collection, New York, October 31, 2018-January 20, 2019. These three oil lamps were clearly made by the same hand.
These lamps are now called “lucerna fiorentina” or Florentine oil lamp, though we do not know the origin of this identification (2). For years the existence of a registry of the workshop of Guiseppe Valdier and his son and heir Luigi, drawn up in 1810, has been known and is currently at the Frick Collection. It lists all the objects, models and tools that were in the family’s workshop near the Piazza di Spagna, Rome. It includes at least two entries of objects relating to the present lot- sheet no. 17 which lists a lamp described as “lucerne a 4 lumi da studio”, and sheet no. 239 a model of an oil lamp with four spouts of wood and wax.
1. Three Generations of Roman Goldsmiths. An exhibition of Drawings and Works of Art, London. Artemis Group, David Carrit Ltd, with a preface by A. Gonzalez-Palacios 1991,p. 174, no.57A
2. H. Havard, Dictionnaire de l’ameublement…. Paris (circa 1887-1890) 111, p. 207 where a lamp of this form id defined as “Lampe de Table”
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