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On shaped triangular reeded base applied with three large foliate scrolls on lion's paws and with by fruit festoons centred by a coat-of-arms, the baluster stem cast with acanthus leaves repeated on the central socket fitted with three scrolling branches and central light, marked underneath, stems, nozzles, branches and detachable nozzle
19 ¾ in. (50 cm.)
197 oz. 2 dwt. (6,131 gr.)
The arms are those of Rothschild.
Baron James (1792-1868) and Baroness Betty de Rothschild (1805-1886), by descent to
Baron Gustave de Rothschild (1829-1911), and by descent.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

For a similar pair of ten-light candelabra from the Rothschild service, see Chefs d'oeuvre d'une grande collection européenne, Christie's, Paris, 5 November 2014, lot 124.

Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (1774-1855) first commissioned a large Renaissance-style service from Charles-Nicolas Odiot in 1835, starting a family tradition that would last into the twentieth century. Charles-Nicolas Odiot had taken over the family business since 1827 and proved his talent by receiving many awards at Exhibitions and prestigious commissions from French and European royal families and aristocracy such as the Sultan Mahmoud and Salomon von Rothschild.

For this sumptuous service, Odiot used the designs of Jacques-Felix Duban (1797-1870) and the services of two of the most respected sculptors at the time, Joseph-Marcellin Combette (1770-1840) and Louis-Francois Jeannest (1781-1856). The chosen style was largely inspired by a neo-renaissance decorative repertoire with exaggerated naturalistic elements, nymphs, angels and satyrs which came to typify Jacques-Felix Duban’s style.

Duban had been much influenced by the architecture and decor of the Quattrocento and the Renaissance which he had discovered during his five-year stay in Italy after winning the Prix de Rome in 1823. Nonetheless he was so versatile that he also drew from various sources such as Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo through to the Classicism of Versailles which he successfully used in his architectural and restorations projects as well for the design of objects.

Salomon Mayer von Rothschild was the founder of the Austrian branch of the Rothschild family. He set up in Vienna in 1820 the very successful S.M. von Rothschild bank and was rewarded in 1822 with the hereditary title Freiherr (Baron). However after the fall of Metternich, Salomon handed over the control of the bank to his son Anselm and retired in Paris. A patron of the arts, Salomon had a fondness for the Italian and French Renaissance which explains the stylistic choice of his service.

The style was subsequently adopted by his daughter Betty Salomon (1805-1886) who had married her uncle James Mayer de Rothschild, head of the Paris bank. Throughout her life, she would remain one of Odiot’s most loyal clients, commissioning large numbers of candelabra, dessert stands, surtouts, baskets, candlesticks and tea service between 1853 and 1886.

Her three children Edmond (1845-1934), Alphonse (1827-1905) and especially Gustave (1829-1911) followed in her footsteps and expanded this service. Gustave was, like his mother, one of Odiot’s most important clients. In October 1869 he ordered ‘a large service in the Renaissance style’ which comprised salt-cellars and massive candelabra with three branches bought for 4198 francs similar to the pair offered under lot 41. In 1872 Gustave further added to this Renaissance service purchasing meat-dishes, vegetable dishes and candelabra, whist in 1874, 1886 and 1896, he bought more pieces described as in the Louis XV and Louis XVI styles bringing his total purchases at Odiot between 1859 and 1896 to 150,000 francs (p.53 and 54 C. Kanowski, Tafelsilber für die Bourgeoisie, Berlin, 2000).

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