An Important Pair of Matte and Burnished Neoclassical Gilt and Patinated Bronze Four-Light Candelabra, Louis XVI period
Call +33 1 45 61 44 55
Attributed to François Rémond
Probably made under the supervision of Dominique Daguerre
An Important Pair of Matte and Burnished Neoclassical Gilt and Patinated Bronze Four-Light Candelabra
Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785
Height 118 cm; width of light branches 36 cm; diameter of the bases 23.5 cm
- Formerly in the collection of the Earls of Rosebery, Mentmore Towers, Buckinghamshire.
- Sale of the collections of the 6th Earl of Rosebery at Mentmore Towers, Sotheby’s, London, on May 18, 1977, lot 92.
The candelabra feature anthropomorphic stems depicting magnificent standing female figures made of patinated bronze. Their hair is braided and held in place by headbands; they wear long classical draperies that reveal their bodies. Each woman holds a wreath of flowers in one hand and has a wicker basket on her head. The baskets issue elaborate scrolling light bouquets comprising four lights; their ornate spiral-decorated branches are adorned with scrolls, rosettes, and seeds. The nozzles and drip pans are also finely cast and chased with leaves and foliage. The round terraces are decorated with beadwork and egg-and-dart friezes; they rest upon cylindrical white Carrara marble bases that are adorned with friezes of volutes, ribbon-tied flower garlands, and putti flanking vases that are embellished with ribbon-tied bulrushes and alternating friezes of stylized foliage.
The exceptional chasing and gilding of the present pair of candelabra allow us to confidently attribute them to François Rémond, one of the most important Parisian bronziers of the period. At the time Rémond worked for Dominique Daguerre, then the most influential merchant of luxury goods in France. Their unusual design appears to have been influenced by a similar model that Rémond had created around 1785, one pair of which was in the collection of Princess Kinsky, and were part of the furnishings of her luxurious Parisian mansion in the rue de Grenelle (see C. Baulez, “Le luminaire de la princesse Kinsky”, in L’Estampille/L’Objet d’art, n° 247, May 1991, p. 88), while a second pair was offered on the Parisian art market during the sale of the collection of Edwin-Marriott Hodgkins (1860-1932) (sold Me Lair-Dubreuil, May 16, 1927, lot 67). One further pair of candelabra, identical to the present pair but with blue turquin marble bases, is in the Toledo, Ohio Museum of Art (illustrated in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus, Band I, Munich, 1986, p. 284, fig. 4.14.9).
The most important marchand-mercier – seller of luxury items – of the last quarter of the 18th century. Relatively unknown when he began working, his career truly began in 1772, the year he went into partnership with Philippe-Simon Poirier (1720-1785), another well-known marchand-mercier who was the creator of furniture adorned with porcelain plaques from the Royal Sèvres factory. After Poirier retired, around 1777-1778, Daguerre ran the shop in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, keeping the company name “La Couronne d’Or”. Retaining his predecessor’s clientele, he considerably developed the business in just a few years, and played a preeminent role in the renaissance of Parisian decorative arts. He worked with the finest cabinetmakers of the day, including Adam Weisweiler, Martin Carlin, and Claude-Charles Saunier, the cabinet maker of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne Georges Jacob, the bronze casters and chaser-gilders Pierre-Philippe Thomire and François Rémond, and the clockmaker Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau. After having helped bring French luxury goods industry to its apogee, Daguerre, always the visionary and an exceptional businessman, settled in England in the early 1780’s. He went into partnership with Martin-Eloi Lignereux, who ran the Paris shop. In London, with the patronage of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), Daguerre played an active role in the furnishing and decoration of Carlton House and the Brighton Pavilion. In doing so, he called on his network of Parisian artisans, importing most of the furniture, chairs, mantelpieces, bronze furnishings and objets d’art from Paris, amounting to over 14500£ of furnishings for just the year 1787. Impressed by his talent, several influential English aristocrats also employed him. Among them were Count Spencer, who was redecorating Althorp, where Daguerre collaborated with the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806). In Paris, through he intermediary of his partner Lignereux, he continued to work for influential collectors, delivering superb pieces of furniture to the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, which were destined for the apartments of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. He retired in 1793, probably due to the loss of many of his most important clients due to the French Revolution.
François Rémond (circa 1747-1812)
Along with Pierre Gouthière, he was one of the most important Parisian chaser-gilders of the last third of the 18th century. He began his apprenticeship in 1763 and became a master chaser-gilder in 1774. His great talent quickly won him a wealthy clientele, including certain members of the Court. Through the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, François Rémond was involved in furnishing the homes of most of the important collectors of the late 18th century, supplying them with exceptional clock cases, firedogs, and candelabra. These elegant and innovative pieces greatly contributed to his fame.
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