In chiseled and gilded bronze and Levanto marble veneer, the barrel formed by a woman dressed in the antique style, carrying on her head the bouquet of seven lights surmounted by a flame, resting on a gilded bronze base signed THOMIRE A PARIS, at the top of '' a square-section stepped pedestal decorated with bucranos, acanthus leaves and scenes of offerings inspired by Antiquity. This superb pair of candelabras made by Pierre-Philippe Thomire is almost identical to another work, also by the famous bronzier and today kept at the Château de Fontainebleau (Inv. F3450).
Born in Paris in 1751, son of a carver, Pierre-Philippe Thomire began studying sculpture at the Academy of St-Luc under the direction of Augustin Pajou and Jean-Antoine Houdon. He then joined the workshop of the bronzier Pierre Gouthière, who offered him a perfect knowledge of the trade, before opening his own factory in 1776. His know-how and his talent were quickly recognized at court and won over the royal couple. He will assist Jean-Louis Prieur in particular in making the bronze ornaments for the coach dedicated to the coronation of Louis XVI. Succeeding Thomas Duplessis as bronzier at the Sèvres manufactory in 1783, he became the King's official chaser and gilder. The delivery of the bronzes of a monumental vase from Sèvres now in the Louvre (inv. OA 9590) further increased his fame, which was great on the eve of the Revolution. It was, however, under the Empire that Thomire's career reached its peak. Associated with the Dutermes, in 1804 he acquired the important collection of the merchant-haberdasher and bronzer Martin-Eloy Lignereux. In 1806 in recognition of his merit he won a gold medal at the Industrial Products Exhibition. Its notoriety allows it to deliver to a prestigious clientele the most beautiful objects of the turn of the century and to receive orders for the redevelopment of imperial residences, such as Fontainebleau and the Grand Trianon. The City of Paris also uses its skills for gifts that it intends for sovereigns, such as a clock offered to Marie-Louise in 1810 on the occasion of her marriage to Napoleon I, today kept at the Louvre, (inv . OA 9511) or the birthplace of the King of Rome; works for which he collaborated with the greatest painters, cabinetmakers and goldsmiths such as Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot or Pierre-Paul Prud’hon.
Provenance: The pair of candelabra shown here comes from the Carnolès Palace, the former summer residence of the Grimaldi princes of Monaco. Attributed to the architects Robert de Cotte and Jacques Gabriel, this Trianon-like residence was built in 1717 at the request of Prince Antoine I of Monaco. Located in the heart of Menton, since 1977 it has housed the city's Museum of Fine Arts.
Price : on request
Price : on request