• English Furniture and Clocks auction at Christies

    Sale 7769

    English Furniture and Clocks

    19 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 30

    A PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY GILTWOOD TORCHERES

    LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY GILTWOOD TORCHERES
    LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Each with a circular dished top above a reeded, fluted and acanthus-carved shaft with satyr masks on a scrolled foliate tripod base with reeded feet, with redundant screw-holes in each top for fixing candelabra, one lacking reeded pendant to base
    53 in. (134 cm.) high; 19 in. (49 cm.) diameter (2)


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    Designed in the Louis XIV 'Roman' fashion, this style was introduced to Britain by William IIIs Paris-trained 'architect' Daniel Marot (d. 1752), and related stands introduced in the late 1690s to Hampton Court Palace, were executed by the Paris-trained sculptor-carver Jean Pelletier (see T. Murdoch, 'Jean, René and Thomas Pelletier, Part I', Burlington Magazine, November 1997, pp. 732-742). This pattern of satyr mask also features on a pier-table, bearing an Earl's coronet-ensigned cipher at Chatsworth, Derbyshire (O.Brackett, An Encyclopaedia of English Furniture, 1927, p. 101).
    A related pair of stands, formerly at Avebury Manor, Wiltshire, are now at Temple Newsam, Leeds (C. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, Leeds, 1978, p. 291, no. 351).

    THE DESIGN
    The vase candelabra guèridon stands are enwreathed by golden foliage and intended as part of a window-pier set with en suite table and mirror. Conceived in the Louis Quatorze 'Roman' fashion as festive tripodic altars, they evoke the control of the Elements by the light-and-poetry deity Apollo. Their libation-patera trays are raised on triumphal palms issuing from krater urns, that are gadrooned with reeds sacred to Pan. The feather-crowned heads of the Arcadian deity's satyr companions cap the hermed and truss-scrolled pilasters of their laurel-festooned 'vase' balusters, which are raised on Ionic wave-voluted 'claws' with reed-gadrooned plinths.

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