Lot 118
  • 118

A RARE PAIR OF GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED BLUE SILVERED VASES CANDELABRA, LOUIS XVI, CIRCA 1785, ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE-PHILIPPE THOMIRE |

Estimate
100,000 - 150,000 EUR
Sold
118,750 EUR
bidding is closed

Description

with five lights, the ovoid blue patinated body with pierced bacchanal and wine friezes, with side ram heads, headed by a gadrooned neck, issuing leaves and roses on stalks ending in nozzles, all on fluted circular acanthus cast socle on square base ; (probably originally with two additional light branches and leaves)

Literature

BIBLIOGRAPHIE   O. Meyer et P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 205 (ill.)

REFERENCES BIBLIOGRAPHIQUES  

El Palacio Real de Madrid, Madrid 1975, p. 136

T. Dell, Furniture in the Frick Collection, New York, 1992, vol. VI

Catalogue Note

This important pair of candelabra belongs to a group of three, each pair slightly different from the others. One was in the Jacques Kugel Collection in Paris in 1976; the other was probably acquired at the end of the 18th century by François-Louis Godon, Horloger du Roi, for King Carlos IV of Spain, and is now in the Salón de Gasparini in Madrid's Palacio Real. These two pairs are stylistically the closest to our candelabra, and are unusual in that their bronze vases that were first silvered, then applied with blue patina, so as to highlight the delicately chased gilt-bronze motifs. This partial recourse to blue for decorative bronzes seems to have been popular among leading late 18th century bronziers in their permanent quest for variety: Pierre Gouthière made an extraordinary pair of branches with quivers, for a service owned by the Duchesse de Mazarin (Louvre, inv. OA 11995-11996); François Rémond supplied two pairs of arms with three arabesque branches on a lapis ground vase to the Temple in 1784 (now in the Petit Trianon at Versailles); and an astonishing series of four candelabra, attributed to Lucien-François Feuchère and formerly in the Rothschild Collection at Mentmore Towers, was sold by Sotheby's London on 17 April 1964 (lot 24).

 The luxurious appearance created by the colour blue (fond lapis) brings to mind a series of candelabra issuing from vases adorned with thin plaques of lapis lazuli – including a pair in the Frick Collection, New York (inv. 15.6.9/15.6.10); and a pair from Luton Hoo, sold at Christie's London on 4 July 1996 (lot 385).

 The vases supporting our candelabra feature bacchanalian scenes replete with prancing Bacchantes, vines and frolicking fauns. The handles are in the form of ram's heads, while roses and lilies are entwined in the branches. Attributing such vases to individual craftsmen can be tricky, especially as some works were made jointly; however, given the originality and masterful execution of our models, the name of Pierre-Philippe Thomire inevitably springs to mind.

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