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.