This magnificent chandelier with cascades of facetted drops and golden ormolu rosettes corresponds closely to the set of three chandeliers commissioned by George III around 1804-05 for the Van Dyck Room, later the Queen's Ball Room, at Windsor Castle. The King ordered the chandeliers in an act of patronage intended to encourage English craftsmanship and manufacture, though ironically the identity of the manufacturer is not known.
The form of such imposing lights in the early 19th century evolved from neo-classical precursors, featuring longer arms issuing from a brass plate which inevitably added greatly to the weight when increased in size, to the tented or 'frame' chandelier, which featured long chains of precisely graduated and facetted drops and shorter arms issuing from a circular corona. This could be enlarged greatly without the addition of excessive weight, encouraging the production of chandeliers of massive size.
Chandeliers of this form and comparable with the present lot were sold Christie's house sale, Mere Hall, Cheshire, 23 May 1994, lot 111 (a twelve-light chandelier), and another from Crichel, Dorset, at Christie's, New York, 16 April 1994, lot 225 (a thirty-six light chandelier).
The present lot relates to the designs of the London manufacturers Messrs. Parker and Perry. Founded by William Parker (d.1784) in Fleet Street, the business enjoyed the patronage of King and Court, ranging from George, Prince of Wales to William Beckford. After William Parker's death the firm continued under his son Samuel, who in 1803 formed a partnership with William Perry. The firm supplied chandeliers for Carlton House from 1808, those in the Crimson Drawing Room perhaps the ultimate expression of the Regency chandelier described above, and later for the Royal Pavillion at Brighton. While the present lot conforms to conventional designs of the early 19th century, the distinctive S-shaped arms are particularly associated with the oeuvre of Perry, being a characteristic of his earlier neoclassical chandeliers.