Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1675-1750) was one of the greatest proponents of the genre pittoresque, now known as the Rococo style. The son of a silversmith and sculptor, he went to Paris in 1718, and later succeeded Jean Bérain II as dessinateur de la Chambre et du Cabinet du Roi. The design for these candlesticks bears a close resemblance to nos. 10, 11 and 12 in his Livre de Chandeliers de Sculpture en Argent of 1728, although there the candlestick is supported by a pair of putti (H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 102, no. 2.1.1).
With their distinctive grainy chasing, these candlesticks are characteristic of the work of English silversmiths and bronziers working in the 1830s - sometimes under the supervision of the English marchand-mercier Edward Holmes Baldock. Baldock is known to have copied celebrated 18th Century prototypes for his illustrious aristocratic clientele, including the Dukes of Buccleuch and Northumberland.
18th Century prototypes of this model include the pair from the Wrightsman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (illustrated in F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol. II, cat. no. 167, fig. 336), a pair in the Wallace Collection, London, stamped with the C couronné poinçon (P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, London, 1996, pp. 1204-1209, cat. 235) and a final pair in the Jones Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum (H. Ottomeyer, op. cit., vol. I, p. 103, no. 2.1.4).