• The Collection of a Lady - Mag auction at Christies

    Sale 7827

    The Collection of a Lady - Magnificent French Furniture, Savonnerie, Sèvres Porcelain, Silver and Chinese Works of Art

    10 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 545

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU AND PATINATED-BRONZE THREE-LIGHT CANDELABRA

    CIRCA 1775, ATTRIBUTED TO QUENTIN-CLAUDE PITOIN, THE FIGURES AFTER THE MODEL BY ETIENNE-MAURICE FALCONET

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU AND PATINATED-BRONZE THREE-LIGHT CANDELABRA
    CIRCA 1775, ATTRIBUTED TO QUENTIN-CLAUDE PITOIN, THE FIGURES AFTER THE MODEL BY ETIENNE-MAURICE FALCONET
    Each with two Classical draped nymphs holding an urn issuing a lily bouquet with buds and leaves, the lily-spray nozzles with circular drip-pans, raised on an oval base mounted with floral swags on beaded toupie feet, re-gilt, fitted for electricity
    24 in. (61 cm.) high (2)


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    Quentin-Claude Pitoin, maître in 1752.

    The design of the draped nymphs of these candelabra is based on a drawing of 1761 by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (H. Ottomeyer/P. Pröschel, op. cit., p. 254, fig 4.7.1). The design depicts two pairs of draped figures supporting candelabra which were exhibited at the Salon du Louvre in 1761 by Etienne-Maurice Falconet, director of the sculpture studios at Sèvres between 1759 and 1766. He refers to them as Deux Grouppes de femmes en platre. Ce sont des chandeliers pour être exécutés en argent. Ils ont deux pieds six pouces de haut chacun. They were in fact originally intended to be cast by the silversmith François-Thomas Germain.

    This superb and beautifully chased pair can be attributed to Quentin-Claude Pitoin based on the distinctive rosette ornament which is shared on documented chenets executed by him, which are now in the musée du Louvre. These include a pair surmounted by a large vase and with identical domed rosettes, which were supplied by Pitoin to Versailles in 1771, and a further model with a lyre and garlands to one side, which was first executed by Pitoin in 1777 for the intendant-general Fontanieu (D. Alcouffe et. al., Gilt Bronzes in the Louvre, Dijon, 2004, pp. 116-117 and 192).

    A virtually identical pair, differing only in the nozzles, was in the René Fribourg Collection, 11 East 84th Street, New York, sold Sotheby's London, 28 June 1963, lot 167. Another pair, with the figures gilded rather than in patinated-bronze, was in the collection of Cécile de Rothschild, sold Christie's Paris, 11 March 2003, lot 391.

    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.


    Provenance

    Almost certainly Albrecht Neuhaus, Würzburg, Germany.


    Literature

    H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich 1986, p. 209, vol. I, pl. XXVII

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
    Ibid., p. 254, fig. 4.7.3