Offered by Royal Provenance
Sevres Porcelain, Historical Souvenirs, Objects of Vertu
PAIR OF ROYAL LOUIS XVI ORMOLU TWO-BRANCH WALL-LIGHTS
From the bedroom of Queen Maria-Amelia at the Château d'Eu
Louis XVI period, Paris, circa 1785.
Marked with irons: EU under royal crown, surmounting the inventory numbers 1558 and 1559, visible on the left side of each light.
H. 54.5 x W. 37.5 cm.
- Probably Jean-Jacques Régis de Cambacérès (1753-1824), duke of Parma, from the hotels of Elbeuf and Roquelaure before 1816.
- Collection of the Dowager Duchess of Orléans, born Louise-Marie-Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre (1753-1821).
- By descent, to her son Louis-Philippe d'Orléans (1773-1850), future King Louis-Philippe Ist, at the Château d'Eu from 1821.
- Mentioned in the 1841 inventory of the Château d'Eu (French National Archives, 300 AP 1-1595) in the "Bedroom of Her Majesty the Queen".
- Probably sales of the estate of King Louis-Philippe, Christie's London, May 5, 1853 or June 5-6, 1857.
- With Perrin Gallery, Paris.
- Private collection, France.
An inventory of the King's furniture storage at the Château d'Eu, listing the entries before 1841, mentions our lights in the apartments of Queen Marie-Amélie, and more specifically in the "Bedroom of Her Majesty the Queen". (National Archives, 300 AP 1-1595):
- 1558 1 bras doré, forme ancienne, surmonté d'un vase, 2 lumières.
- 1559 1 bras idem (ditto).
The traceability of our pair of lights is almost certain from 1816, by its presence in the 1841 inventory, but it remains unestablished for the previous period. However, certain observations legitimately allow us to trace their history, going back to the time of their manufacture under the reign of Louis XVI (1774-1792).
Very different from the Louis-Philippe style of the Queen's bedroom at the Château d'Eu, our wall-lights described as "old form" in the 1841 inventory are unquestionably from the Louis XVI period, the work of carving the gilt bronze being even of a very high quality. It is very likely that they come from the estate of King Louis-Philippe's mother, the Dowager Duchess of Orléans, daughter of the Duke of Penthièvre.
Indeed, Louis-Philippe and his sister Adélaïde inherited from their mother an important real estate and furniture heritage, including several pieces of furniture and works of art from illustrious sources, from the Louis XVI period, which they will distribute between the Palais Royal and the castle of Eu. These objects come partly from the collections of the Duke of Penthièvre, and partly from the Hôtel de Roquelaure in Paris, purchased in 1816 by the Dowager Duchess of Orléans from the Archchancellor of the Empire Régis de Cambacérès (1753 -1824), forced into exile. Napoleon had previously endowed Cambacérès with a first Parisian residence, the Hôtel d'Elbeuf, while furnishing it by drawing on the reserves of the former garde-meuble Royal, rich in heritage coming in particular from emigrants.
This is how prestigious and high-quality, almost royal, furniture was found in Eu and in the Orléans palaces, like the encoignures by Levasseur, made for Mesdames, daughters of Louis XV, in Bellevue, which were found at the Palais Royal during the Restauration (Sotheby's sale, Monaco, July 1, 1995, lot 105). The same applies to a series of armchairs from the Louis XVI period, white lacquered, by J.-B. Sené, with the marks of the Château d'Eu, four of which recently went on sale from the Hôtel de Cambacérès, then from the Pierre Durand collection (Christie's sale, New York, January 27, 2022, lot 136, sold for $62,500). Even more recently, in the sale of the Givenchy collection, an Empire period armchair by Jacob-Desmalter enjoyed the same provenance (Christie's, Paris, June 17, 2022, lot 196).
- Inventaire après-décès de la Duchesse douairière d'Orléans en 1821, bibliothèque Marmottan, MS 3019.
- Christian Baulez, La rue Saint-Dominique, hôtels et amateurs. Exh. cat., Hôtel Rodin, Paris, 11 October-20 December 1984, p. 168.
- Martine Bailleux-Delbecq, La chambre de la reine Marie-Amélie au château d'Eu d'après une aquarelle, La Revue du Louvre, 1-1990, pp. 22-25.
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