• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7784

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    10 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 771

    A MATCHED SET OF FOUR GEORGE III ORMOLU CANDLESTICKS

    THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MATCHED SET OF FOUR GEORGE III ORMOLU CANDLESTICKS
    THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
    Each in the form of a semi-draped female figure bearing a leaf-and-berry wrapped cornucopia with swagged and stiff-leaf nozzle and foliate drip-pan, on an acanthus and husk decorated rocaille base, one with a paper label inscribed in black ink '2247', the nozzles associated
    15¼ in. (39 cm.) high (4)


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    These Grecian urn-bearing vestals are conceived in the French antique manner to evoke sacrifices at love's altar in antiquity as appropriate garniture for George III dressing-tables. They also reflect the antique 'columbarium' (vase chamber) fashion introduced in the 1760s by the Rome-trained architects William Chambers (d. 1796) and Robert Adam (d. 1792). Their festive krater urns are enwreathed by laurels and palms, while Apollonian laurels also entwine their tazze, serpentined in cornucopiae horns-of-plenty from palm-branches, as well as their tripod wave-scrolled plinths. Their pattern, evolved from hermed or thermed pillars after a Louis Quatorze Roman guéridon torchere design, was also executed in silver, such as those supplied in 1770 by the court Goldsmith Thomas Heming and bearing the arms of Henry, 8th Baron Arundell (d. 1808) and his wife Mary (d.1813) (see John Overton's publication of Jean le Pautre's Livre de Miroirs, Tables et Gueridons, issued in London in 1676; and candlesticks sold Christie's, King Street, 12 June 2006, lot 288).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in lots consigned for sale which may include guaranteeing a minimum price or making an advance to the consignor that is secured solely by consigned property. This is such a lot. This indicates both in cases where Christie's holds the financial interest on its own, and in cases where Christie's has financed all or a part of such interest through a third party. Such third parties generally benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.


    Provenance

    Sotheby's, London, 3 June 1977, lot 72 [a pair].
    Christie's New York, 30 January 1993, lot 134.
    Christie's New York, 30 April 2007, lot 75.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    J. Bourne & V. Brett, Lighting in the Domestic Interior, London, 1991, p. 87, fig. 278.