Offered by Richard Redding Antiques
Leading antique and fine art gallery, specialises in the finest French clocks.
A very fine pair of Louis XVI style gilt bronze candlesticks after a model by Jean-Démosthène Dugourc, each with a candle nozzle in the form of a gadrooned urn cast with lion heads on monopodia supports upon a turned plinth supported on a stem formed as three beautiful conjoined caryatids herms upon tapering angular supports headed by bacchic masks above floral swags, below which the caryatids’ feet stand upon a circular plinth with a laurel leaf border above a spreading acanthus cast base with beaded border
Paris, date circa 1820
Height 32 cm. each.
Literature: Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 286, pl. 4.15.2, illustrating a pair of candlesticks of identical design dating from circa 1785 in Schloss Pillnitz, Dresden. Peter Hughes, “The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture”, 1996, pp. 1246-50, F174-5, describing and illustrating an earlier pair of candlesticks of circa 1783 of comparable design with four caryatids and differing nozzles in part by François Rémond from a model he supplied in 1783 and 1786 to the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre. Alan P. Darr et al, “The Dodge Collection of XVIII Century French and English Art in the Detroit Institute of Arts”, 1996, p.131 (71.216, 71.217), illustrating an identical pair of candlesticks of circa 1850-1900, in the Detroit Institute collection.
With their triple female caryatid shaft swagged with floral garlands, laurel collar and domed acanthus-cast plinth, these candlesticks are based on a design attributed to Jean- Démosthène Dugourc (1749-1825) in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. The design was included in an album of designs for furniture subsequently delivered to both Madame Elizabeth and the comte de Provence, and inscribed Dessiné par J. D. Dugourc, architecte et dessinateur Du Cabinet de Monsieur Frère Du Roi. Paris. 1790. The album depicts both executed and projected designs, several of which reflect the interest in the Arabesque et Etruscan styles that were fashionable during the early 1780s. In particular the sheet portrays models for similar candlesticks, the first of which are believed to have been originally supplied to the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre by the ciseleur-doreur François Rémond (1747-1812), who on 26th June 1783 invoiced Daguerre as follows: Pour fonte, facon Et Dorure mate d’une pre de grands flambeaux a 4. Figures, Et a guirlandes et fleur, Etc 1050 (Peter Hughes, “The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture”, 1996, p. 1249, F174-5).
Jean Démosthène Dugourc (1749-1825), one of the most famous French draughtsmen working in ornamental design during the second half of the eighteenth century was appointed Architecte et Déssinateur du Cabinet de Monsieur (the brother of Louis XVI) in 1780. The following year he furnished designs for costumes and decorations for the Royal Opera in Stockholm; in 1783 he was appointed Directeur des costumes à decors de l'Opéra in Paris and in that same year became Déssinateur de Garde Meuble de la Couronne.
Candlesticks of comparable designs were also created during the 1780s including another pair of in the Wallace Collection, delivered by the bronzier Claude-Jean Pitoin to Marie-Antoinette in 1781, which have three herm caryatids but different nozzles and are mounted on the bases by three dolphins (P. Hughes, op. cit., pp. 1232-35, F164-5). One can also cite a set of four candlesticks of a related design in the same collection of circa 1784-6, each with the stem composed of three classical caryatids in full dress but with differing nozzles and bases (P. Hughes, op. cit., pp. 1259-63, F170-73). In addition candlesticks of a similar model with four caryatid herms were made by Pierre Gouthière, circa 1785 (Ottomeyer and Pröschel, op. cit., p. 286, pl. 4.15.3).
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