Pair of ormolu candelabras, Edouard Lievre and Ferdinand Barbedienne, circa 1870, signed F.Barbedienne.
Ormolu candelabras on a signed base.
The floral openwork on the bobeche is typical of Edouard Lievre drawings for Ferdinand Barbedienne, inspired by japonism and orientalism. Lievre was one of the precursors of the re discovery of japonese art after this nation opened to the west and attended the Universal Exhibition of 1867. Modernity became a general taste for exotism mixed with abundant imagination. Lievre expressed this modernity through high quality stylistic compositions and collaboration with the greatest parisian societies such as Sormani, Barbedienne and Christophle. This pair of candelabra displays this modern style through a japonese tortuous cherry tree branch motif with floral patterns and lion heads.
Born in Nancy, Edouard Lievre was trained in Thomas Couture’s studio and then prefered decorative arts. Lievre had powerfull and wealthy clients such as Sarah Bernhardt, the courtesan Louise-Emilie Valtesse de la Bigne and Albert Vieillard. Among the fournitures conceived for Vieillard, there was a japonese cabinet that is now helded by the Orsay Museum. After Lievre died, two auctions took place at Paris, in 1887 and 1890. These auctions were congratulated by the press. « Since a long time, art amateurs had the occasion to see at auction a remarkable collection as the Master’s work recently deceased. His creations will make history » (See Connaissance des Arts, n°228, Un créateur inspiré par Roberto Polo, p.8). It is believed that most of the collection was sold to George and Henri Pannier. They produced modified versions of Lievre’s drawing, one of their version of the Japonese Cabinet was sold to the Great Duke Vladimir of Russia and is now held by the Hermitage at Saint-Petersburg.