A Rare and Important Pair of Burnished and Matte Gilt and Patinated Bronze Six-Light Candelabra, Directory-Consulate period
Call +33 1 45 61 44 55
Attributed to François Rémond
Probably made under the direction of Dominique Daguerre
The female figures after models attributed to Louis-Simon Boizot
A Rare and Important Pair of Burnished and Matte Gilt and Patinated Bronze Six-Light Candelabra
Paris, Directory-Consulate period, circa 1795-1800
Height 108.5 cm; width 40 cm; depth 18.5 cm
- Christian Baulez, “Les bronziers Gouthière, Thomire et Rémond”, in Versailles, deux siècles d’histoire de l’art, Etudes et chroniques de Christian Baulez, 2007, p. 403-420.
The present candelabra, made of finely chased gilt and patinated bronze with matte and burnished finishing, feature magnificent draped female figures. The nymphs are standing near torchères whose tapering fluted stems are wrapped with delicate olive garlands. They emerge from an acanthus-wrapped baluster element with a gadrooned ring that is decorated with beadwork. Their bases, adorned with spiral fluting, rest on tripod feet that are hung with laurel toruses, and whose lower portions are gadrooned. The console feet of the tripod are embellished with ram’s heads and flower and leaf garlands, and terminate in reclining female sphinxes; they rest on shaped triangular plinths. Above, the stem terminates in a bouquet of five curved light branches that are arranged in two rows and are decorated with eagle-head scrolls. They are adorned with scrolling elements and terminate in nozzles cast in the form of leafy blossoms. The sixth light branch, which has a beaded drip pan, emerges from a baluster vase embellished with satyr’s masks. The high green marble base, quadrangular with rounded corners, is decorated with egg and dart and Greek key friezes; its sides are elaborately adorned with ribbon-tied flower and leaf garlands; the façade is centered by a medallion representing young nymphs. The whole is supported on a shaped molded rectangular plinth that is decorated with friezes of alternating stiff leaves and stems.
In 1785, very likely under the supervision of Dominique Daguerre, François Rémond created a new model of large candelabra. These candelabra, known as « à figures ou girandoles », and also called « girandoles à figure tenant un candélabre », incorporated female figures that were almost certainly based on models created by the sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot, an artist with whom François Rémond often collaborated with during the course of his career. This type of candelabra, novel in design and exceptional in quality, remained immensely successful among influential Parisian and European collectors for nearly twenty years. An annotated drawing of the composition, made either as a preparatory sketch or for commercial purposes, originally in the bronze caster’s archives, is today in a private collection. This precious drawing, which can be dated to 1785, proves that the early models featured nozzles adorned with garlands of beads; a decade later, they were replaced by leaf or palmette-decorated corollas.
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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