The caryatid bronze-figured candlebra, designed in the early 19th century antique/Egyptian manner, comprise vase-bearing Isis priestesses, whose pearl-wreathed and plinth-supported marble altar-drums are garlanded with ribbon-tied swags suspended from winged sphinxes. The torch candle-nozzles issue from the fruit-filled vases and are guarded by Jupiter's eagle perched on palm-wreathed and orb-capped pillars.
The pattern corresponds to a pair, less richly decorated, in the dining-room at Malmaison (see Nietta Apra, Il Mobile Impero, Novara, 1970, p.25.). The figures relate to those of 'nike' victories invented in 1802 for Empress Josephine's Château de Saint-Cloud apartments by the architect Charles Percier (d.1838). They reflect the antique or 'Empire' fashion popularised by Percier and Fontaine's Recueil des Décorations Intérieures, 1801 (see E. Hassling, le Luminaire; Documents de Style Empire, Paris, nd. fig. 5; and H. Ottomeyer and P. Proschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, vol. 1, 1986, pp. 332-333.).
Among the most celebrated bronze manufacturers of such figurative candelabra was Claude-Franois Rabiat (d.1815), Maítre in 1778. He had a thriving business and regularly provided candelabra to other accomplished bronziers including Thomire, Feuchère and Claude Galle.
A similar set of four candelabra was sold, The Peter Zervudachi Collection, Sotheby's, London, 10 June 1998, lot 352; another pair, Sotheby's, London, 13 June 2001, lot 355; and a further pair, A View Over Eaton Square A Private Collection, Christie's, London, 10 November 2005, lot 324.