A SUITE OF TWENTY-EIGHT LOUIS XV SILVER CANDLESTICKS

MARK OF LOUIS LENHENDRICK, PARIS, 1747-1770

Lot 46 / Sale 6765
a suite of twenty-eight louis xv silver candlesticks

Price Realized £1,049,250
($1,686,145)
Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

Estimate
    £1,000,000 - £2,000,000
  • ($1,600,000 - $3,000,000)

Sale Information Sale 6765
CHEFS-D'OEUVRE ANCIENNE COLLECTION DE MONSIEUR ET MADAME RIAHI
6 December 2012
London, King Street

Lot Description A SUITE OF TWENTY-EIGHT LOUIS XV SILVER CANDLESTICKS
MARK OF LOUIS LENHENDRICK, PARIS, 1747-1770
Each baluster-shaped, on shaped circular base, with moulded border chased and applied at intervals with shells and scrolls, the stems cast and chased with floral swags and foliage, the vase-shaped sockets each with shaped circular detachable nozzle with scroll and moulded border, comprising:


(i)
A pair, 1747, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Antoine Leschaudel
9 5/8 in. (25.6 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Me Picard, hôtel Drouot, Paris, 1 April 1992, lot 143.


(ii)
A pair, 1749, engraved with a crest, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Antoine Leschaudel
10¾ in. (27.2 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Me Anaf, Lyon, 7 February 1997, lot 11.


(iii)
A pair, 1750, engraved with a crest below a bishop's mitre, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Antoine Leschaudel
10 3/8 in. (27 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Geneva, 1 December 1982, lot 130.


(iv)
A pair, 1750, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe
10¾ in. (27.2 cm.) high


(v)
A pair, 1752, engraved with a coat-of-arms with marquis' coronet above, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe
10¾ in. (27.2 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Me Martin, hôtel des Chevau-Légers, Versailles, 20 November 1975, lot 17.


(vi)
Two, 1753, one engraved with script initials IDP, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe
10½ in. (26.7 cm.) high


(vii)
A pair, 1753, engraved with two coats-of-arms accolé, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Geneva, 8 May 1989, lot 128 (one).


(viii)
A pair, 1753, engraved with initials 'JD', each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Jean-Baptiste Fouache
10 3/8 in. (26.5 cm.) high



(ix)
Two, 1754 and 1763, engraved with a coat-of-arms, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) high


(x)
A pair, 1754, each stamped with an owl, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) high


(xi)
Two, 1755 and 1761, each marked under base and inside socket, the first with sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Berthe, the second with décharge of Éloi Brichard and Étienne Somfoye
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) high


(xii)
Two, 1761, one engraved with initials 'IDP', each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Éloi Brichard and Étienne Somfoye
10½ in. (26.7 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Geneva, 8 May 1989, lot 128 (one).


(xiii)
Two, 1766 and 1768, engraved with a coat-of-arms, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge mark of Jean-Jacques Prévost
10½ in. (26.8 cm.) high


(xiv)
A pair, 1770, engraved with a coat-of-arms, each marked under base and inside socket, the sockets further marked with décharge of Julien Alaterre
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) high

PROVENANCE
Anonymous sale; Ader-Picard-Tajan, hôtel Drouot, Paris, 29 April 1987, lot 157.



Total weight of suite 862 oz. (26,821 gr.). (28)

Pre-Lot Text AN EXCEPTIONAL SUITE OF FRENCH CANDLETICKS

Provenance This remarkable group of candlesticks has been assembled by M. Riahi over several decades.

Literature G. Mabile, Orfvrerie franaise des XVIe, XVIIe, XVIIIe Sicles, Paris, 1984, p. 108 (the pair, 1754)
S. Schwartz, 'Dessert is Served in a Porcelain Garden', Country Life, 11 June 1998, pp. 135-137, illustrated
D. Langeois, et al., Quelques chefs d'oeuvres de la Collection Djahanguir Riahi, Milan, 1999, pp. 251-5.

Exhibited Waddesdon Manor, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild Centenary Exhibition, June - November 1998.

Lot Notes THE MAGNIFICENT RIAHI SUITE OF LENHENDRICK CANDLESTICKS

This model of candlestick was considered by M. Riahi the greatest model of French candlestick and he spent forty years gathering this remarkable group. The appearance at auction of the Riahi suite of candlesticks gives collectors the chance to acquire a set of candlesticks on a royal scale. It is rare to find even a set of four candlesticks by Lenhendrick. The last set of four to appear on the market, dating from 1753 and 1754, was sold from the Champalimaud Collection, Christie's London, 6 July 2005, lot 138 (£153,600). Therefore the opportunity to acquire a set on a scale only seen in the Royal treasuries of the 18th and 19th century is a once in a century event.

LOUIS LENHENDRICK
Louis Lenhendrick was apprenticed to the illustrious Thomas Germain (1673-1748), Goldsmith to the King, at the Galeries du Louvre in 1738, becoming a master in 1747, the year in which the earliest know examples of this model of candlestick were made. A pair of this date is included in the Riahi suite. In 1766 Lenhendrick is listed as a creditor of Thomas Germain's bankrupt son and fellow Royal goldsmith, François-Thomas (1726-1791). It is of note that his claim involved work supplied to the latter. The design for this extraordinary suite of candlesticks is traditionally believed to have been created by Thomas Germain (see F. Dennis, 'Three Centuries of French Domestic Silver', The Metropolitan Museum of New York, New York, 1960, p. 224, fig. 224). However, François-Thomas' own inventory, dated 1 April 1765, refers under entry no. 150 to 'Lenhendricks candlestick model' thereby confirming Lenhendrick as the true creator of the form, (Maitre Lambrose LXXXIII, 511). A pair of candlesticks of the same model by François-Thomas Germain, Paris, 1754, recorded in the collection of the Museé des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (see C. Perrin, 'Francois Thomas Germain', Orfèvres des Rois, Paris, 1903, p. 154), are therefore in imitation of the work for his father's former apprentice.

ROYAL CANDLESTICK SUITES IN THE 18TH CENTURY
The grandest Royal banquets held by European monarchs in the 18th century were lit by sets of candlesticks on the scale of the Riahi suite. Candlesticks, fashioned in the latest style and in sets far larger than those found in even the greatest aristocratic houses, were arranged in serried rows to light the banqueting tables. The table was the stage for what was more of a theatrical performance than a meal. The banqueting room decorated with the finest silver, silver-gilt and even gold, the most costly porcelain, fruit, flowers, sculptures in sugar and the costumes of the diners themselves all contributed to an immense display of wealth. As almost all the French Royal plate from this period has been destroyed one must look to the plate inventories of other Royal houses. For example Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and Augustus III, King of Poland (1696-1763) ordered twenty-four candelabra and thirty-six candlesticks from Christian Heinrich Ingermann on 20 November 1747 recorded in an annotation made to the 1741 König: Pohln: Churf. Sächss: Silber-Cammer. Like so many royal services a large quantity was later melted to meet debts and by 1882 the number of candlesticks left had been reduced to twenty-four. Balthasar Behrens supplied no fewer than 72 candlesticks for King George II's court in Hanover around 1735. This service was split up during the sales held in 1924. Many other large services were commissioned in the 18th century but none have survived unscathed, with the suites either having been consigned to the melting pot or broken up and sold in small sets in the 19th and 20th centuries. A dining table, laid for the dessert course on a scale of almost regal richness, was recreated in the dining room of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild's seat, Waddesdon Manor, in 1998. The display was lavishly featured in an article in Country Life, S. Schwartz, op. cit., pp. 135-137. Candlesticks from the Riahi Suite were loaned to the exhibition; the table being suitably decorated with an unprecedented suite of candlesticks from the period.

Department Information EUROPEAN CERAMICS, GLASS & CHINESE EXPORT ART

Related FeaturesGallery Talk: Chefs-D'oeuvre Ancienne Collection de Monsieur et Madame Riahi [Video]

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