Adorned with delicate polychrome-decorated porcelain flowers, this chandelier embodies the whimsical rococo concept of eternal spring-time through the means of porcelain flowers whose blooms never fade. This 'picturesque' tole peinte chandelier indeed reflects the fashion at Louis XV's court for trompe l'oeil porcelain flowers, a vogue first introduced at Meissen in the 1740's and later perfected at the Vincennes factory.
Madame de Pompadour's favourite marchand mercier, Lazare Duvaux (d. 1758) particularly promoted the fashion for porcelain flowers and in 1749 delivered a similar chandelier to the fermier général Bouret de Villaumont. A further related chandelier is at Versailles in the appartement of the Dauphine Marie-Josèphe, for whom Lazare Duvaux also supplied wall-lights mounted with porcelain flowers in 1749 (see P. Lemoine, The Palace of Versailles, Paris, 1987, p. 104).
Further related examples include a chandelier illustrated in P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 26, fig. 13.
Among related chandeliers recently sold at auction, a comparable chandelier, albeit of significantly smaller proportions than the present lot, was sold from the Collection of Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesman, Christie's, London, 10 April 2002, lot 226 (£58,750 with premium).