This charming pair of candelabra, with their ormolu mounts and lacquered wood figures deliberately decorated to resemble the finest Japanese bronze, represent the height of the goût chinois. France's long fascination with the Orient dates back to the mid-17th century, when lacquered screens, porcelains and other wares were imported and adapted into some of the rarest, most sophisticated objects produced in the 17th and 18th centuries. Parisian marchands-merciers capitalized on the huge demand for these rare objects and created their own versions of these prized imports. Using them for inspiration, along with contemporary engravings of the Chinese Emperor's court and designs by ornemanistes, the marchands-mercier created and promoted their own distinct aesthetic, the goût chinois, which was realized by a network of highly skilled artisans. These fanciful works were prized by the court of Louis XV and continued to be revived in the 19th century.