A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY
A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY
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Property from the Estate of Susan S. Dillon

A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY

Estimate: 5,000 - 8,000 USD

Property from the Estate of Susan S. Dillon

A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY

Estimate: 5,000 - 8,000 USD

Lot Sold:9,375USD

Lot Details

Description

Property from the Estate of Susan S. Dillon

A PAIR OF QING DYNASTY GILT AND LACQUERED BRONZE ONE-LIGHT CANDELABRA IN THE FORM OF KNEELING BRONZE FIGURES OF EUROPEANS ON LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE BASES, MID-18TH CENTURY


slight variations to size and design of figures and mounts

height 11 in.; width of base 6 in.

28 cm; 15.2 cm


Condition Report

In good condition with areas of scattered rubbing and oxidation to gilt and lacquered surfaces. Remnants of wax residue in candle nozzles.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

 NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Cataloguing

Catalogue Note

These highly rare candelabra appear to derive from Chinese porcelain models of Europeans exported to the West in increasing quantities from the beginning of the 18th century. These were based on imported engravings, as most Chinese ceramic artists would never have seen a European in person, and tended to result in figures with faces of somewhat ambiguous ethnicity wearing occidental-style dress. A pair of porcelain figural candleholders in the Copeland Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum depict a standing man and woman in European clothing each holding a golden bowl in one hand and a large lotus leaf nozzle in the other, a popular motif in export porcelain and similar to those held by the figures in the offered lot (ill. in W. R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection, 1991, no.62 p. 136-37). Their gesture has been interpreted as an expression of the tribute that all foreign traders and visitors regardless of status were expected to pay to the Emperor, and the kneeling pose of the present pair could also be regarded as evoking this custom.


Small lacquered bronze figures mounted as candelabra, paperweights or clock cases were developed by the Paris marchand merciers during the 1730s and 40s, but these were manufactured in France and represented figures of distinctly Chinese physiognomy in Asian costume. Notable surviving examples include a clock garniture in the Residenz, Munich; a pair of two-light candelabra with porcelain flowers from the Madame Djahanguir Riahi Collection, sold Sotheby's Paris, 6 July 2017, lot 53; and a garniture in the Ortiz-Patino Collection, sold Sotheby's New York, 20 May 1992, lot 7. This taste formed part of a broader fashion for importing small Chinese or Japanese ceramic figures, frequently copied by European porcelain factories, to be mounted in gilt bronze. These were commonly referred to as pagodes or magots and proved so popular that Diderot despaired of such 'colifichets précieux' that had displaced more worthy ornements d’un goût beaucoup meilleur and created a règne des magots (see D. Kisluk-Grosheide, 'The Reign of Magots and Pagods', Metropolitan Museum Journal XXXVII, 2002, p. 177-198). In this context, the present lot represents a fascinating and extremely unusual example of European figures serving the same function as Chinese or Chinese-inspired magots.

STYLE: Furniture, Silver, Ceramics
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