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A pair of large French ormolu and cut glass sixteen-light chandeliers
A pair of large French ormolu and cut glass sixteen-light chandeliers

LATE 19TH CENTURY

Details
A pair of large French ormolu and cut glass sixteen-light chandeliers
Late 19th Century
Each with scrolling cage frame hung with tiers of scalloped, flowerhead and pendant-shaped drops, interspersed with ovoid eyelets, and issuing two tiers of candlearms and a central baluster finial, electrified
72 in. (183 cm.) high (2)
Provenance
Elisabeth Riquet de Caraman-Chimay, Comtesse Greffulhe (1860-1952), Château Bois-Boudran.
John W. Mecom Sr., acquired in 1963.
Acquired from the above in 1986.

Lot Essay

These chandeliers originally formed part of a suite that hung in the grand ballroom built in the 1890s by the Comtesse Greffulhe at her country residence, Château Bois-Boudran. A cousin of Comte Robert de Montesquiou, Elisabeth Riquet de Caraman-Chimay, as she was known before her marriage to wealthy Belgian banker Henry Greffulhe in 1881, was a renowned beauty and the uncontested queen of the salons of the Faubourg Saint-Germain. She was idolised by the writer Marcel Proust, among others, and served as the inspiration for the Duchesse de Guermantes in his A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Widely respected as an arbiter of taste, she launched a fashion for greyhound racing, was a patron of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and promoted many other artists in high society, among them Rodin, Moreau and, in particular, Whistler.
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