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Époques: Louis XVI

  • Jacquet  -  Thomire
    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757-1843)

    Rare Red Marble and Gilt and Patinated Bronze Desk Regulator

    Regulateur028-05_BD_MAIL

    Jacquet”

    Case attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire

    Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1790

    Height52 Width31.3 Depth13.3

    The round white enamel dial, signed “Jacquet à Paris”, indicates the Roman numeral hours, the Arabic numeral fifteen-minute intervals, the date and the days of the week with their corresponding zodiac signs, by means of four hands, two of which are made of pierced and gilt bronze. The seconds are indicated by a central blued steel hand. The hour and half hour striking movement is housed in a fine neoclassical case with glazed sides. The bimetallic pendulum, with its heavy bob, enhances the precision of the mechanism; it swings above a rectangular plaque that is decorated with an oval medallion that is centered by a radiating floral motif framed by wide stylized scrolls, flowers, and palmettes. The lower portion of the dial is framed by a ribbon-tied flower and leaf garland; the lateral pilasters feature reserves adorned with vases decorated with rams’ heads issuing rose branches that terminate in ribbon-tied wheat sheaves. The entablature is adorned with laurel branches and mascarons punctuated by lyres. The protruding cornice, adorned with leaf friezes, egg-and-dart friezes, and twisted cords, is surmounted by a molded plinth decorated with beadwork and flanked by grooved rosettes. The indented base, adorned with waterleaf friezes, stands on a plinth that is supported by four flattened ball feet, with applied putti musicians and low-relief plaques depicting children at play, executed in the manner of Clodion.

    This remarkable design of the present rare desk regulator was inspired by horological models that created by the best Parisian clockmakers, during the two final decades of the 18th century. Housed in a neoclassical rectangular case with glazed sides, it may be considered of the most successful horological creations produced during the final years of the reign of Louis XVI. At the time, the best clockmakers devoted their undivided attention to the beauty of the dial and mechanism. To house these mechanisms, they chose the finest quality bronze cases, which were produced by the most exceptional bronziers to be found in the city of Paris. The present example stands out due to the extraordinary quality of its gilding and chasing. This is also the basis for our attribution to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, the most famous Parisian bronze caster of the period.

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1757 - 1843)

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most important Parisian bronzier of the last quarter of the 18th century and the first decades of the following century. Early on in his career he worked for Pierre Gouthière, ciseleur-fondeur du roi, and toward the mid-1770’s began working with Louis Prieur. He later became one of the bronziers attached to the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres, creating the bronze mounts for most of the important creations of the day. After the Revolution, he purchased the stock of Martin-Eloi Lignereux, thus becoming the most important suppliers of furniture bronzes for châteaux and Imperial Palaces. In addition, he worked for a wealthy private clientele, both French and foreign, including several of Napoleon’s Marshals. Thomire retired in 1823.



    In the same category
    Rémond
    François Rémond (circa 1747-1812)

    Important Set of Four Three-Branch Wall Lights made of Gilt Bronze with Matte and Burnished Finishing

    Appliques017-03_HD_WEB

    Attributed to François Rémond

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785

    Height52 Width34

    The wall lights are made of finely chased gilt bronze, with matte and burnished finishing. Each wall light features a central tapering stem in the form of a quiver, which is decorated with spiral motifs and features a band that is adorned with motifs and acanthus leaves, and which issues the three fluted, curving branches. They in turn support the nozzles and drip pans, which are adorned with waterleaf motifs, gadrooning, beadwork, fluting, and foliage. Each wall light is surmounted by an urn that is embellished by ribbon-tied laurel garlands and which that terminates in a flame. The lower portion is made up of oak leaf swags that are adorned with acorns, which emerge from two acanthus leaves.

    By the mid-18th century, the ornamental vocabulary that had prevailed in the French decorative arts for several decades had begun to be challenged, as a new artistic movement was led by scholars, artists, and collectors. It was inspired by the extraordinary archaeological discoveries that had been made in Pompeii and Herculaneum, near Naples. Inspired by these discoveries, a handful of collectors, artists and artisans, including the Duke de Caylus and Lalive de Jully, gradually imposed a new style that was directly inspired by classical antiquity. This “Return to antiquity”, was equally inspired by the neoclassical style that prevailed during the reign of Louis XIV, in the late 17th century. In the field of lighting and particularly that of wall lights, at the time known in French as “bras de lumière”, the early models were extremely – and sometimes exaggeratedly – architectural in style. As of the early 1780s, the designs became more elegant and luxurious, as is the present rare set of four wall lights. Few identical examples of this model are known today. Among the small number of wall lights of the same model, one pair with three branches was sold by Sotheby’s New York on October 14, 1988. A second pair, with two branches, appeared in 1976 on the art market in Cannes, during the sale of the collections of the Villa Les Anthemis.

    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.



    Rémond
    François Rémond (circa 1747-1812)

    Important Pair of Three-Light Candelabra in Matte, Patinated, and Gilt Bronze

    Candelabres035-07_HD_WEB

    Attributed to François Rémond

    Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1790

    Height90 Width38.5

    Provenance:

    – Probably formerly in the collection of Emily Ridgway, Marquise de Ganay (1838-1921).

    – Sold: Paris, Me Lair-Dubreuil, Galerie Georges Petit, May 8-10, 1922, lot 237 (not illustrated): “A pair of three-light candelabra in patinated and gilt bronze, each one comprising the statuette of a nude, standing child that is raising one arm, while in the other he holds an iron lance to which are attached three light branches in the form of hunting horns. At the child’s feet lies the head of an animal. Cylindrical red griotte marble bases. Louis XVI period. Height 90 cm”.

     

    Each candelabrum is made of finely chased, patinated and matte gilt bronze. Each features a blued steel lance stem to which are attached three light arms in the form of hunting horns that are tied together by a ribbon. The lower portion of the lances feature a molded band adorned by a frieze of stylized toruses framing a band of spiral fluting. They rest on naturalistic terraces with a wild boar’s head. Two finely modeled standing putti, lightly draped, complete the composition. The cylindrical red griotte marble bases, which rest on quadrangular plinths, are adorned with mille-raie toruses.

    The first mention of a pair of candelabra of this type appeared in November 1809 when the collection of the well-known connoisseur Pierre-Nicolas baron Van Hoorn Van Vlooswyck was sold; they were particularly elaborate: “90. Two girandoles featuring various hunting attributes and bronze figures, each one bearing a blued steel lance adorned with gilt garlands from which are suspended hunting horns that compose the nozzles, the whole adorned with matte gilding and standing on a pedestal of Italian griotte marble adorned with toruses, and gilt bronze bases. Total height 34 inches”. Except for the gilded garlands, the “Van Hoorn » candelabra might be the present pair. However, they should be directly compared to the description of the pair described in 1922 furing the posthumous sale of the collection of the Marquise de Ganay. One pair, nearly identical but with several variations, was formerly in the collection of the decorator Georges Geoffroy (see P. Arizzoli-Clémentel, Georges Geoffroy 1905-1971, Une légende du grand décor français, Editions Gourcuff-Gradenigo, Paris, 2016, p. 188).

    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.



    Dester
    Godefroy Dester (?-1805)

    Important Mahogany, Flame Mahogany Veneer, Gilt Bronze and White Marble Commode

    Commode002-02_BD_MAIL

    Stamp: G. DESTER

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785

    Height97 Width146 Depth61

    Provenance:

    – Collection of S.A.S. Catherine de Croÿ (1929-1992), Princesse de Croÿ et de Solre, in the Château d’Azy in Saint-Benin d’Azy.

     

    The present commode, made of magnificent flame-mahogany veneered mahogany, with a three-part façade and projecting central panel, displays exceptionally clean lines and an architectural design. Rectangular in shape, it has two door leaves, one of which is hinged and double, and opens to reveal three wide drawers with crossbars fitted with rings. It also features three frieze drawers, the central one closing by means of a clover lock. The side drawers are fitted with mascarons and rings; the lateral fluted columns are inlaid with brass. The commode is adorned with chased gilt brass mounts, including plain gilt bronze bands decorated with beading, molding and a mille-raie frieze. It stands on four tapering, rounded feet with molded capitals and bases, and has a gray-veined white marble top.

    This type of mahogany commode with a three-part façade was immensely successful among important Parisian connoisseurs of the latter part of the 18th century. Godefroy Dester made several similar examples, no doubt at the request of renowned marchand-merciers such as Dominique Daguerre, all of which display perfectly balanced proportions, an exacting choice of mahogany veneering that was carefully selected by the cabinetmaker, and the clean, pure lines that characterize the finest pieces of furniture from the mid-1780s.

    Today only a few comparable commodes by Dester are known. Among them, one example is pictured in A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, The Art of the Ebenistes from Louis XIV to the Revolution, 1989. A second example is illustrated in J. Nicolay, L’art et la manière des maîtres ébénistes français au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1982. A pair of similar commodes by Dester formerly belonged to Lord Redesdale (sold Christie’s, Monaco, June 20, 1992, lot 67).

    Godefroy Dester (? - 1805)

    Godefroy Dester (d. December 24, 1805) was one of the most important Parisian cabinetmakers of the last quarter of the 18th century. After becoming a maître in July 1774, he opened a workshop in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine and soon gained fame and renown. He mostly produced pieces of furniture decorated with marquetry or with high-quality mahogany veneer. However, he is also known to have supplied, through the intermediary of the mirror merchant Delaroue, a magnificent pair of commodes decorated with Paris porcelain plaques that were intended for the bedchamber of the Count d’Artois – the brother of Louis XVI – in the Palais du Temple (see P. Kjellberg, Le mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle, Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers, Paris, 2002, p. 297).



    In the same category
    Weisweiler  -  Lignereux
    Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820)
    Martin-Éloi Lignereux (1751-1809)

    Important Pair of Yew-Veeered and Gilt Bronze “à brisure” Commodes

    Capture d’écran 2015-10-10 à 15.56.31

    Made under the Supervision of Daguerre & Lignereux

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785-1790

    Stamp: A. WEISWEILER

    Height95 Width133.5 Depth58.5

    Provenance:

    -Acquired in Paris in 1803 by Thomas Bruce, 7th Count of Elgin and 11th Count of Kincardine (1766-1841), from the marchand-mercier Martin-Eloi Lignereux.

    -Thence by descent, kept in Broomhall House in Fife, Scotland.

    -Collection of Lord Bruce, sold Christie’s, London, May 31, 1962, lot 83.

     

    The three-part façade of each commode features a slightly protruding central panel. The rectangular commodes have two doors, one of them “à brisure”, and an upper row of three drawers. The façade and the sides are veneered in yew wood, with molded gilt bronze mounts that are adorned with bead friezes. In the front the side columns are rounded, in the back they are in the form of pilasters; they are decorated with brass-inlaid fluting and feature panels that are chased with bands of alternating stylized motifs. The lower apron is adorned with stylized friezes and plain copper or brass panels. The commodes rest upon four toupie feet with knurled chapters and molded bases; their tops are of gray-veined white marble.

    These two neoclassical commodes, which are characteristic of the finest Parisian cabinetmaking of the final decades of the 18th century, are a perfect illustration of the collaboration between Adam Weisweiler and the firm Daguerre & Lignereux. Commodes of this type are mentioned in contemporary documents, such as the probate inventory of the Prince or Princess of Salm, drawn up in August 1795, in which a bedroom is stated to have contained: “A commode in bird’s eye mahogany, with three doors adorned with ormolu gilt copper mounts, with a white marble tabletop, 3000 livres”. The present commodes also possess a prestigious and uninterrupted provenance – the descendants of the Count of Elgin still possess the invoices concerning the pieces their ancestor acquired from Parisian marchand-mercier Martin-Eloi Lignereux, the former associate and Parisian representative of Dominique Daguerre: on Prairial 15 in the year XI (4 June 1803), Lignereux sold to the Count of Elgin, for the sum of 2100 francs: “Two commodes in selected  bird’s eye wood, opening on the front by means of three doors adorned with gilt bronze mounts, with inner drawers set on cleats, said commodes without marble top”. They were later mentioned in the inventory of the “Principal Drawing Room” of Broomhall House in Fife, Scotland.

    Today, only a few similar Weisweiler commodes are known to exist. Among them, one piece with three drawers is on display in the Musée national du Château de Versailles (see P. Lemonnier, Weisweiler, Editions Monelle Hayot, Paris, 1983, p. 57). A second commode is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Inv. 25.161/Fletcher Fund 1925). A third, formerly in the Palace of Fontainebleau, is today in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (illustrated in J-P. Samoyault, Fontainebleau, Musée national du château, Catalogue des collections de mobilier 3, Meubles entrés sous le Premier Empire, RMN, Paris, 2004, p. 370, catalogue n° 305). One further commode of this type is in the Royal British Collections in Buckingham Palace (see H. Roberts, For the King’s Pleasure, The Furnishing and Decoration of George IV’s apartments at Windsor Castle, 2001, p. 333, fig. 416).

    Adam Weisweiler (1744 - 1820)

    Adam Weisweiler is a cabinetmaker who became a master in Paris on March 26, 1778. Having settled in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine quarter, he quickly gained renown, becoming one of the most important cabinetmakers of the final years of the reign of Louis XVI. He worked for the most important collectors of the time through the intermediary of marchand-merciers Dominique Daguerre and Martin-Eloi Lignereux. The Revolution does not seem to have greatly affected him; at this time he purchased several buildings. He continued to be active during the Empire period, working for the Queen Hortense, among others.



    Martin-Éloi Lignereux (1751 - 1809)

    Martin-Eloi Lignereux was one of the most important marchand-merciers (merchants of luxury objects) of the last quarter of the 18th century and the early years of the following century. On April 1, 1787, he went into partnership with Dominique Daguerre, thus becoming the Parisian representative of the Daguerre & Lignereux firm, which was established at 85, rue Saint-Honoré. After Daguerre’s retirement in 1793, he continued to run the firm with great success, while conserving his predecessor’s clientele and playing an important role in the renewal of contemporary Parisian decorative art. In 1801, he was awarded a gold medal at the Exhibition of the Products of Industry, where it was noted that “in the opinion of all observers, the furniture made by Citizen Lignereux is remarkable for its elegance and lavish embellishments, for the choice of the appropriate form for each piece, and finally, for the exactness and high-quality finishing of both the interiors and the exteriors”. Several years previously, his daughter Adélaïde-Anne had married the renowned Parisian cabinetmaker François-Honoré-Georges Jacob, known as Jacob-Desmalter. In 1804 Lignereux retired, selling his business to the bronze caster Pierre-Philippe Thomire. During his active years, Lignereux worked for the most influential collectors of the day, including the Duke d’Aumont-Valentinois, Queen Marie-Antoinette, the Count d’Artois (brother of King Louis XVI), the Baron de Breteuil, the Prince of Wales (future King George IV of England), Czar Paul I of Russia, and Napoleon Bonaparte.



    In the same category
    Le Riche  -  Sèvres
    Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche (1741-circa 1812)
    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    Exceptional Sèvres Bisque Porcelain Group

    “The Judgment of Sancho Panza, Governor of the Island of Barataria”

    APF_BISCUIT01_07

    After a Model by Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche

    Paris, second third of the 18th century, circa 1770-1780

    Height35.5 Width24.8 Depth21.5

    Bisque porcelain figures from the Sèvres Manufacture Royale are among the pieces most sought-after by collectors of antique porcelain and of art objects in general. By 1756 the factory had begun to produce unglazed porcelain pieces that were given just one firing. This new type of “bisque porcelain” became an immediate success with collectors of the period. Encouraged by this response, the Manufacture called on the best artists of the time to create new and novel pieces. Among them were the famous sculptors Etienne-Maurice Falconet, Louis-Simon Boizot and Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche, who supervised the workshops where the pieces were created and developed; all were of unusual and interesting design, and extremely well finished. The Sèvres factory hoped in this manner to set themselves apart from their main rival, the Meissen factory in Saxony, which produced polychrome pieces. Within just a few years Sèvres had surpassed Meissen in many areas, due in large part to these pristine white bisque statuettes and groups, whose satiny surfaces, reminiscent of statuary marble, perfectly rendered the delicate detailing of the sculpted models.

    The present group depicts a square terrace with simulated cobblestones, featuring an animated scene with several figures, both male and female. They have come to ask Sancho Panza, who is seated on a curule seat and is wearing a plumed hat, to render a judgment on their imaginary problems.

    Drawn from the satirical novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Cervantes (1547-1616), this spectacular group is one of the Royal Manufactory’s most ambitious creations. It is inspired by a design by painter Charles-Antoine Coypel that was intended for a tapestry. In 1771 Le Riche adapted it for the Sèvres Manufactory, for use in a porcelain surtout de table. Comprised of three groups, it was called “A Spanish Surtout relating the Story of Don Quixote”. The present group was one of the side pieces; the two other groups represented  “Don Quixote Fighting the Puppets” and “Don Quixote and the Enchanted Head”.

    Very few examples of this ensemble have survived to the present day; one bisque group representing “Don Quixote and the Enchanted Head” is preserved in the Sèvres Musée national de Céramique (Inv. MNC20546); a bisque porcelain group and the original terra cotta model of the present subject are also in the collection of the Sèvres Museum; these pieces are illustrated respectively in M. Brunet and T. Préaud, Sèvres des origines à nos jours, 1978, p. 230, fig. 316 and E. Bourgeois, Le biscuit de Sèvres, Paris, 1909, Tome II, plate 37.

    Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche (1741 - circa 1812)

    Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche is a French sculptor of the 18th and early 19th centuries, he was the director of the sculpture studio at the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory from 1780 to 1801.



    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    The Vincennes porcelain factory was created in 1740 under the patronage of Louis XV and the Marquise of Pompadour. It was created to rival with the Meissen porcelain factory, and became its principal European rival. In 1756 it was transferred to Sèvres, becoming the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory. Still active today, during the course of its existence it has had several periods of extraordinary creativity and has called on the finest French and European artisans. Kings and emperors considered it an exemplary showcase for French know-how. Most of the pieces created in the manufactory workshops were intended to be given as diplomatic gifts or to decorate the castles and royal palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries.



    Le Riche  -  Sèvres
    Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche (1741-circa 1812)
    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    Exceptional Sèvres Bisque Porcelain Group

    “Don Quixote Fighting the Puppets”

    APF_BISCUIT02_06

    After a Model by Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche

    Paris, second third of the 18th century, circa 1770-1780

    Height36 Width36 Depth33

    Bisque porcelain figures from the Royal Sèvres Manufactory are among the pieces most sought-after by collectors of antique porcelain and of art objects in general. By 1756 the factory had begun to produce unglazed porcelain pieces that were given just one firing. This new type of “bisque porcelain” became immediately popular with collectors of the period. Encouraged by this success, the Manufacture called on the best artists of the time to create new and novel pieces. Among them were the famous sculptors Etienne-Maurice Falconet, Louis-Simon Boizot and Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche, who supervised the workshops where the pieces were created and developed; all were of unusual and interesting design, and extremely well finished. The Sèvres factory hoped in this manner to set themselves apart from their main rival, the Meissen factory in Saxony, which produced polychrome pieces. Within just a few years Sèvres had surpassed Meissen in many areas, due in large part to these pristine white bisque statuettes and groups, whose satiny surfaces, reminiscent of statuary marble, perfectly rendered the delicate detailing of the sculpted models.

    The present group depicts an oval terrace where a battle is taking place: Don Quixote’s fight against Master Peter’s puppets. Human figures and animals display varying expressions and shades of emotion, in contrast with Don Quixote’s ardour as he destroys the puppet theatre and smashes the puppets with a hammer.

    Drawn from the satirical novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Cervantes (1547-1616), this spectacular group is one of the Royal Manufactory’s most ambitious creations. It is inspired by a design by painter Charles-Antoine Coypel that was intended for a tapestry; in 1771 Le Riche adapted it for the Manufacture de Sèvres, for use as a porcelain surtout de table. Comprised of three groups, it was called “A Spanish Surtout relating the Story of Don Quixote”. The present group was the central one; on either side were groups representing “Don Quixote and the Enchanted Head” and “The Judgment of Sancho Panza, Governor of the Island of Barataria”.

    Very few examples of this ensemble have survived to the present day;  one bisque  group representing “Don Quixote and the Enchanted Head” is preserved in the Sèvres Musée national de Céramique (Inv. MNC20546); a bisque porcelain group and the original terra cotta model of the present subject is also in the collection of the Sèvres Museum; these pieces are illustrated respectively in M. Brunet and T. Préaud, Sèvres des origines à nos jours, 1978, p. 230, fig. 316 and E. Bourgeois, Le biscuit de Sèvres, Paris, 1909, Tome II, plate 37.

    Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche (1741 - circa 1812)

    Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche is a French sculptor of the 18th and early 19th centuries, he was the director of the sculpture studio at the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory from 1780 to 1801.



    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    The Vincennes porcelain factory was created in 1740 under the patronage of Louis XV and the Marquise of Pompadour. It was created to rival with the Meissen porcelain factory, and became its principal European rival. In 1756 it was transferred to Sèvres, becoming the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory. Still active today, during the course of its existence it has had several periods of extraordinary creativity and has called on the finest French and European artisans. Kings and emperors considered it an exemplary showcase for French know-how. Most of the pieces created in the manufactory workshops were intended to be given as diplomatic gifts or to decorate the castles and royal palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries.



    Rémond  -  Daguerre
    François Rémond (circa 1747-1812)
    Dominique Daguerre

    Important Pair of Matte and Burnished Gilt and Patinated Bronze Neoclassical Four-Light Candelabra

    Candelabres029-07_BD_MAIL

    Attributed to François Rémond

    Probably made under the supervision of Dominique Daguerre

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785

    Height122 Width42

    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 blue turquin marble plinths that are adorned with friezes of volutes, ribbon-tied flower garlands, and putti flanking vases that are embellished with ribbon-tied bulrushes, alternating friezes of stylized foliage and a quadrangular base sculpted in the same marble.

    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, of which the first pair were 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 white Carrara marble bases, were 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); another identical pair, with blue turquin marble bases, is in the Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio) (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).

    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.



    Dominique Daguerre

    Dominique Daguerre is the most important marchand-mercier (i.e. merchant of luxury objects) of the last quarter of the 18th century. Little is known about the early years of his career; he appears to have begun to exercise his profession around 1772, the year he went into partnership with Philippe-Simon Poirier (1720-1785), the famous marchand-mercier who began using porcelain plaques from the Manufacture royale de Sèvres to adorn pieces of furniture. When Poirier retired around 1777-1778, Daguerre took over the shop in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, keeping the name “La Couronne d’Or”. He retained his predecessor’s clientele, and significantly increased the shop’s activity within just a few years. He played an important role in the renewal of the Parisian decorative arts, working with the finest cabinetmakers of the day, including Adam Weisweiler, Martin Carlin and Claude-Charles Saunier, cabinetmaker of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, Georges Jacob, the bronziers and chaser-gilders Pierre-Philippe Thomire and François Rémond, and the clockmaker Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau. A visionary merchant who brought the level of French luxury goods to its highest point, Daguerre settled in England in the early 1780’s, having gone into partnership with Martin-Eloi Lignereux, who remained in charge of the Paris shop. In London, where he enjoyed the patronage of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), Daguerre actively participated in the furnishing and decoration of Carlton House and the Brighton Pavilion. Taking advantage of his extensive network of Parisian artisans, he imported most of the furniture, chairs, mantelpieces, bronze furnishings, and art objects from France, billing over 14500£, just for 1787. Impressed by Daguerre’s talent, several British aristocrats, called on his services as well. Count Spencer engaged him for the decoration of Althorp, where Daguerre worked alongside architect Henry Holland (1745-1806). In Paris, Daguerre and his partner Lignereux continued to supply influential connoisseurs and to deliver magnificent pieces of furniture to the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, which were placed in the apartments of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Daguerre retired in 1793, no doubt deeply affected by the French Revolution and the loss of many of his most important clients.