• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 2203

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe Including Carpets from The Corcoran Gallery of Art

    24 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 232

    A SET OF FOUR EMPIRE PATINATED-BRONZE AND ORMOLU NINE-LIGHT CANDELABRA

    EARLY 19TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE-PHILIPPE THOMIRE

    Price Realised  

    A SET OF FOUR EMPIRE PATINATED-BRONZE AND ORMOLU NINE-LIGHT CANDELABRA
    EARLY 19TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE-PHILIPPE THOMIRE
    Each with foliate candlearms and columnar stem, drilled for electricity, arms numbered with Roman numerals
    42½ in. (108 cm.) high, 15½ in. (39.5 cm.) wide (4)


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    Born into a family of ciseleurs, Thomire began working with renowned bronzier Pierre Gouthière (1732-1813) and ciseleur-doreur du roi Jean-Louis Prieur (d. circa 1785-1790), before opening his own workshop in 1776. Famed for his production of finely-chased gilt-bronze objets de luxe, a large quantity of which were commissioned by the Royal household, Thomire frequently collaborated with marchands-merciers such as Simon-Philippe Poirier, the latter's successor, Dominique Daguerre, and regularly supplied finely-chased mounts to celebrated ébénistes such as Adam Weisweiler (maître in 1778) and Guillaume Beneman (maître in 1785). Upon the death of Jean-Claude Duplessis - the artistic director of the Sèvres porcelain manufactory - in 1783, Thomire assumed the role of bronzier to the manufactory, before being made ciseleur de l'Empereur by Napoleon in 1809. Thomire relinquished control of his business to his sons-in-law in 1823. The firm, which had come to be known as Thomire et Cie since 1819, ceased to trade in 1852.

    A closely related pair of ormolu candelabra by Thomire et Cie. were delivered to the Grand Trianon for the cabinet de travail de la Reine in 1837, and are illustrated in D. Ledoux-Lebard, Le Grand Trianon: Meubles et objets d'art, Paris, 1975, p. 128.