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    Sale 3786

    The Collection of Carroll Petrie & European Decorative Arts from the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, including the Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection

    31 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1250

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XV ORMOLU THREE-LIGHT CANDELABRA

    AFTER THE DESIGN BY JUSTE-AURELE MEISSONIER, MID-18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XV ORMOLU THREE-LIGHT CANDELABRA
    AFTER THE DESIGN BY JUSTE-AURELE MEISSONIER, MID-18TH CENTURY
    Each with three organic, scrolling foliate branches cast with grapes, the twisted asymmetric stem mounted with a putto to one side, above a rocaille base
    13 ¾ in. (35 cm.) high


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    The design for these candlesticks is closely related to those executed by Juste-Aurèle Meissonier (1675-1750) and illustrated in his Chandelier de sculpture en argent inventés par J. Meissonier of 1728, one of which is reproduced here. Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier was one of the greatest proponents of the genre pittoresque, now known as the Rococo. The son of a silversmith and sculptor, he moved to Paris in 1718 and went on to succeeded Jean Bérain II as dessinateur de la Chambre et du Cabinet du Roi.
    It is clear that Meissonier developed several versions of this model as a candlestick and a candelabra are visible in the background of Nicholas de Largillière’s 1736 portrait of Meissonier and his wife which is now in the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich 1986, vol. I, p.102, fig.2.1.2). Although several pairs of the candlesticks are recorded, including those in the Wallace Collection (London F.J.B. Watson, Wallace Collection Catalogues, 1956, p. 21, nos. F78-79), and most recently a pair that sold anonymously at Christie’s, London, 9 July 2015, lot 133 (£68,500, including premium) candelabra versions of this model are rare. One of the few known examples is a three-light candelabrum with two putti that were part of the dowry of Louis Elisabeth, daughter of Louis XV, upon her marriage to the Duke of Parma in 1739 now at the Pitti Palace, Florence (ibid, p.103, fig.2.1.3).

    Provenance

    Acquired from Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, in 1972.
    Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection.