This pair of torcheres would have formed part of an early eighteenth-century pier set, supplied en suite with tables and mirrors, by a cabinet-maker such as James Moore (d.1726). The 'Roman' pattern for these tripod torcheres, which could be used as a vase or candelabra, was invented at the French court in the late 17th century and popularised by William III's 'architect' and ornamentalist Daniel Marot (d. 1752) in his Oeuvres, 1703.
Certain design elements in the present torcheres, such as similar Roman tripod claw-inspired scrolled feet, have marked affinities with a torchere in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court supplied by James Moore circa 1710-15 (see R. Edwards and M. Jourdain, Georgian Cabinet-Makers, London, 1955, p.135, fig. 30).
A virtually identical pair of torcheres attributed to James Moore, but with associated plinths, attributed to Moore was sold anonymously Sotheby's, London, 5 July 1996, lot 16 (£20,000 including premium).
James Moore specialized in finely carved gilt-gesso work embellished with strapwork and scrolling foliage in a rich baroque vein. Little is known of Moore's early life and apprenticeship, however, from 1714 he worked in partnership with London's most prominent glass-maker John Gumley, and in 1715 they succeeded Gerrit Jensen as Royal cabinet-makers. Aside from his Royal commission with Gumley, Moore was also independently employed by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, eventually supervising the building work at Blenheim Palace after Vanbrugh's dismissal in 1716. She later referred to Moore as her 'Oracle'. Moore's other distinguished private clients included the Earl of Burlington, to whom he supplied 'Sconces and Branches' at a cost of £6.6s for Burlington House, Piccadilly in 1720, and the Duke of Montagu (see G. Beard and C. Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1986, pp. 618-619).