With its elegant trellis frame, beaded swags and harmonious proportions, this chandelier relates to Louis XIV examples called 'lustres à lacé', occasionally supplied by the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi for the Royal fêtes and ceremonies organized by the King's Household or maison du Roi and for general Court entertainment. Such 'lustres à lacé' or 'en treillage' were considered precious objects as evidenced by the commission for a 'lustre en treillage' by Madame de Pompadour's for the château de Crécy and that by Louis XV several months after his 'maîtresse-en-chef' for a chandelier of the same model (discussed by Pierre Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIème siècle, Paris, 1987, p.94). As Verlet further discusses, the abbé Jaubert distinguishes between three types of chandeliers in his Dictionnaire des Arts et Métiers, re-published in 1773: lustre 'à tige découverte', 'à consoles' and 'à lacé', such as the present lot, 'à cause des entrelacs de petits grains de verre dont ils sont presque tout couverts' (Ibid, p.93).
Unsurprisingly, it is in the retail of luxurious chandeliers that some of the most celebrated Parisian marchands-merciers such as Lazare-Duvaux, Claude-François Julliot and Delaroue did specialize. Julliot is recorded to have supplied a 'grand et beau chandelier de cristal de roche à six bobèches' to Louis XV in 1739 which was placed in the Petite Galerie at the château de Versailles. Related examples of Louis XIV chandeliers sold at auction include one sold, Christie's, Monaco, 16-17 June 2001, lot 743 (FF917,500 with premium) and another sold Christie's, Monaco, 13 December 1997, lot 103 (FF518,500 with premium).
The fashionable taste for 'lustre à lacé' was not only prevalent in France but also very much au goût du jour in Sweden, as illustrated by a closely related chandelier supplied to the Swedish Crown in 1754 for the significant sum of 3,000 livres, now at Drottningholm (ill. Ibid, p.93, fig.103). As in the case of the two above-mentioned Louis XIV examples sold at Christie's Monaco, the Drottningholm chandelier was -very appropriately- surmounted by a crown denoting the Royal connection.
In addition to the Louis XIV lustre à lacé from which it undoubtedly draws its inspiration, the present chandelier exemplifies the more whimsical and perhaps unrestrained approach adopted by North Italian makers at the time, with its jeu of multi-coloured beaded swags. Comparable Piedmontese examples include a chandelier formerly in the collection of Pietro Accorsi, Turin and another in the Palazzina di caccia at Stupinigi (both illustrated in G.Mariacher, Illuminazione in Italia dal Quattrocentio all'Ottocento, Milan, 1965, p.106); while a further related pair of chandeliers was sold les Petits Frères des Pauvres, 50e anniversaire, Gros & Delettrez, Paris, 20 October 1996, lot 160 (FF640,000).