LA SPHÈRE MOUVANTE DE M. CASTEL
 A LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD QUARTER-STRIKING AND MONTH-GOING ORRERY CLOCK WITH CALENDAR AND EQUATION OF TIME
LA SPHÈRE MOUVANTE DE M. CASTEL
 A LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD QUARTER-STRIKING AND MONTH-GOING ORRERY CLOCK WITH CALENDAR AND EQUATION OF TIME
LA SPHÈRE MOUVANTE DE M. CASTEL
 A LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD QUARTER-STRIKING AND MONTH-GOING ORRERY CLOCK WITH CALENDAR AND EQUATION OF TIME
6 More
LA SPHÈRE MOUVANTE DE M. CASTEL
 A LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED KINGWOOD QUARTER-STRIKING AND MONTH-GOING ORRERY CLOCK WITH CALENDAR AND EQUATION OF TIME
9 More
Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Ro… Read more 'LES GRANDES TORCHÉRES’
A SET OF FOUR NAPOLEON III ORMOLU FLOOR STANDING NINETEEN-LIGHT TORCHERES

THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

Details
A SET OF FOUR NAPOLEON III ORMOLU FLOOR STANDING NINETEEN-LIGHT TORCHERES
THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
Each modelled as a winged putto standing contrapposto draped with floral garland and supporting a crowned coat of arms within a rocaille frame at his feet and an urn atop his head issuing naturalistically cast leaves and floral stems including lilies, chrysanthemums, and daisies terminating in bobeches, raised on an acanthus-clad scroll supports hung with berried garlands above a stepped tripartite base centred by a rosette on a conforming blue-velvet plinth, fitted for electricity
7 ft. 8 in. (92 in., 234 cm.) high, excluding fitments and plinth
8 ft. 8 in. (104 in., 264 cm.) high, overall
Provenance
By repute, Conte Giovanni Florentino.
Private collection, London, until acquired by the present owner in 2011.
Special notice

Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

Lot Essay

These magnificent torchères, designed in the revivalist-style which dominated nineteenth-century decorative arts represent the apogee of the Beaux Arts style and would have been a key focal point in the palatial cor in the interior for which they were originally intended. In order to cast such a sculptural work of this scale, detail, quality, these torchères could have only been undertaken by a leading fonderie and at great cost. Modelled as winged putti supporting shields, they stand on rocaille bases and support floral branch candle arms alluding to popular Louis XV motifs. The central escutcheons the putti prominently display would have certainly contained heraldic designs of those who initially commissioned them, signalling the family’s importance. Indeed, candelabras like the present pair were fully integrated into the of their 19th century surroundings, standing at the entrance to grand salons, in great halls or at the base of monumental staircases. In L'Éducation sentimentale (1869), the great 19th century French novelist Gustave Flaubert described the extravagance that such brilliant lighting fixtures evoked, 'Les grandes torchères, comme des bouquets de feu, s'epanouissaient sur les tentures; elles se répétaient dans les glasses'.
Indeed a close comparison can be made between the present lot and the torchères which graced the most magnificent nineteenth-century interiors including those supplied by Maison Barbedienne for the Grand Salon of Napoleon III’s apartments at the Louvre which are similar decorated with floral garlands, serpentine tripartite bases, and centrally displayed cartouches (inv. OA11460), and a suite of torchères which adorn the ground floor of Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Newport, Rhode Island home, The Breakers, modelled as winged seated putti similarly holding aloft scrolling candlearms and raised on a tripartite base adorned with Louis XIV and Louis XV motifs (see pair of the model sold Christie’s, New York, 26 October 2004, lot 322 for $71,700, including premium).

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