Rare Pair of Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze Baluster-Form Candlesticks
Attributed to François Rémond
Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785
– Formerly in the collection of the princes of Beauvau-Craon.
The candlesticks, made of very finely chased bronze with matte and gilt finishing, feature a baluster stem emerging from a leaf and flower bouquet; it is adorned with spiral fluting and festoons of beads suspended from roundels. The stem supports a nozzle decorated with a band of olive branches; the drip pan is embellished with a cord frieze. The base of the stem has a gadrooned knop and rests on a bell-shaped foot decorated with acanthus leaves and seeded stems set against a matted ground. The foot is, in turn, supported by a round plinth with bead and olive branch friezes framed between plain bands.
The unique design of this pair of large candlesticks makes it one of the most elaborate lighting instruments of the Louis XVI period. The motifs and decorative elements are quite similar to ornamental motifs – including balusters, bead friezes and festoons, and acanthus leaves – which appear on an armchair made by the furniture maker Jean-Baptiste-Claude Séné. Delivered in 1787, to be placed in the Grand Cabinet of Queen Marie-Antoinette in the Château of Saint-Cloud, it is today in the Louvre Museum (see Bill G.B. Pallot, Le mobilier du Musée du Louvre, Tome 2, Editions Faton, Dijon, 1993, p. 163, catalogue n° 57). The exceptional quality of the chasing and gilding suggests the present pair of candlesticks was made by one of the finest chaser-gilders of the period: François Rémond, a Parisian artisan who worked exclusively for Dominique Daguerre, the most important dealer in luxury objects of the period.
Today only a very few identical candlesticks are known to exist. Among them, one pair was in the Dillée collection (sold Sotheby’s, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, March 18-19, 2015, lot 74). A second pair was offered at auction by Sotheby’s New York on October 22, 1965, lot 211. One further comparable pair of candlesticks was formerly in the collection of Sigismond Bardac (sold Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Me Lair-Dubreuil, May 10-11, 1920, lot 72).
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.