The form of these candelabra comes from a drawing by Juste-Aurèle Meissonier which was engraved by Huquier and published in Le Livre de chandeliers de sculpture en argent, folios 31 and 32, plates 73 and 74. Examples in silver by the silversmith Claude Duvivier, now in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, are illustrated G. Mabille, Orfèvrerie française des XVIème, XVIIème, XVIIIème siècles, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, pp. 66-68.
Rosenberg mentions four ormolu candelabra apparently made by Meissonnier for the King of Saxony and which were kept in the Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden (Der Goldschmiede, Merkzeichen, vol. III, p. 280). Several other similar pairs of candlesticks and candelabra are known: these include four candlesticks formerly in the Wrightsman collection illustrated F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, 1966, vol. II, p. 332. A pair of candlesticks in the Wallace Collection is illustrated F.J.B. Watson, The Wallace Collection, Furniture, London, 1956, F. 76 and F. 77, plate 21. Two other pairs of candelabra, stamped with the C Couronné were sold Sotheby's, London, 8 July 1983, lot 32 and Ader Picard Tajan, Monaco, 27 May 1984, lot 91.
JUSTE-AURELE MEISSONNIER (1695-1750)
Born in Turin in 1695, he became Orfèvre du roi in 1724 and succeeded Jean II Bérain as Premier dessinateur de la chambre et cabinet du Roi in 1726.
Mariette wrote of him lui demandait-on un morceau d'orfévrerie, il s'y prêtait, mais en montrant de répugnance; était-il question de quelque ordonnance d'architecture, il quittait tout pour l'exécuter.
The extravagantly rococo nature of his work led him often to work for foreign clients, such as the Duke of Kingston for whom he made two terrines circa 1735 and prince Czartoryski for whom he designed panelling.