The rights to this model may originally have belonged to the marchand-mercier Simon-Philippe Poirier who delivered to Madame du Barry in 1770 'une paire de girandoles à trois branches en bronze doré d'or moulu ornés de figures de porcelaine de France 624 livres'. Another pair - described as 'trois branches à figures d'enfant en bronze couleur antique avec pied, feuille d'ornement six cent livres' are listed in the collection of President de Nicolay at the end of the 18th Century.
This model found particular favour amongst English collectors in the late 18th and early 19th Century. A number of the examples that survive in English country house collections were most probably sold by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, Poirier's successor, who came to London in 1787 at the invitation of the Prince Regent. Slightly later remoulages of the 18th Century model, as here, which display slight differences to chasing and casting, were produced for Regency collectors.
This model exists in two patterns, of which the present pair is the better-known model. The other model features two putto with hands in identical but opposed positions. Examples of these include a pair from the Josse collection, sold Galerie Georges Petit, Paris 28-29 May 1894, lot 141 and two pairs from the collection of M. Hubert de Givenchy, sold at Christie's, Monaco, 4 December 1993, lots 5 and 6.
A third version, with the putti playing flutes, now in the Munich Residenz, originally formed part of the Zweibrücken or Pfalz inheritance acquired by the Bavarian Wittelsbachs after 1799, (ill. in H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, Vol. II, p. 156, fig 3.2.1 where an attribution to Philippe Caffiéri is suggested (fig. 3.2.2)).
Closely related pairs of candelabra sold at auction include a pair sold 'Arts of France', Christie's, New York, 2 November 2000, lot 180 ($44,650 with premium) and another sold Christie's, London, 7 December 2006, lot 250 (£19,200 with premium) while further related pairs sold more recently include one from 'The Gothick Pavilion - Byron to Beaton', Christie's, London, 9 December 2010, lot 111, and another 'Lord St Helens and Sir William Fitzherbert', Christie's, London, 22 January 2009, lot 541.