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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 63

    A SET OF FOUR EMPIRE ORMOLU FOUR-BRANCH WALL-LIGHTS

    EARLY 19TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY RUSSIAN

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SET OF FOUR EMPIRE ORMOLU FOUR-BRANCH WALL-LIGHTS
    EARLY 19TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY RUSSIAN
    Each with an arrow-filled quiver backplate, headed by a mask of Diana, issuing acanthus-wrapped horn-shaped scrolled branches terminating in leaf-cast and floret-studded nozzles, with pinecone boss, drilled for electricity, minor differences to tooling
    16½ in. (42 cm.) high; 13¾ in. (35 cm.) wide, overall (4)


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    This set of four wall-lights, emblematic of the Hunt, relates to two pairs of wall-lights, featuring comparable foliate-cast horn-shaped scrolled branches surmounted by a mask of Diana, executed in 1809 by Claude Galle (maître in 1786 and Fournisseur du Garde-Meuble under Louis XVI and the Empire) for the Grand Trianon at Versailles (ill. in H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel (et. al.), Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. II, p. 706, fig. 23).

    Interestingly, the masks of Diana featured on the present wall-lights are also reminiscent of decorative ornaments used on early 19th Century Russian objects. Among such are two comparable masks by German and St. Petersburg-based bronzier Andrei Schreiber (1777-1843), illustrated in I. Sychev, The Russian Chandeliers, 1760-1830, P.V.B.R., 2003, p.56, fig. 274 and p.172, fig.837.
    The similarities between Schreiber's work and various objects executed by contemporary Parisian bronziers can indeed be explained by the strong influence exerted by the latter on Russian decorative arts as well as the possible collaboration between Russian and Parisian artists. Sychev discusses indeed the possibility that foremost St. Petersburg bronzier Friedrich Bergenfeldt (1768-1822) may have had links with the workshop of Claude Galle, given the similarities on some of their models (see I. Sychev, Russian Bronze, Moscow, 2003, p. 95). Schreiber himself is recorded as having worked with Louis-Stanislas Lenoir-Ravrio (1783-1846) - business partner and reputedly illegitimate son of celebrated bronzier André-Antoine Ravrio (1759-1814) - under the direction of Court architect Karl Ivanovitch (Carolo) Rossi (1775-1849) on the refurnishing of the interiors of Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg, as well as and parts of the Winter Palace for the wedding of future Czar Nicolas I.

    Among the related wall-lights sold at auction, two virtually identical pairs, featuring arrow-filled quiver backplates centred by masks of Diana with crescent moon diadems, were sold at Christie's, New York, 31 March 2000, lot 295 and Christie's, London, 9 June 1994, lot 101, respectively.

    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.


    Saleroom Notice

    One of the branches has been damaged and Christie's will arrange and pay for its restoration.