Giuseppe Valadier (d. 1839), took over the workshop of his father Luigi (d. 1785) on the latter's death. The firm had been founded in 1725 by his grandfather Andrea and was sold only in 1827, having been the leading silversmith and bronze-founders of Rome for a century.
The design of these griffin-supported candlesticks can be related to an engraving of a vase with griffin-supports by Giovanni Battista Piranesi which is in his Vasi, candelabri, cippi, sarcofagi, tripodi lucerne ed ornamenti antichi disegnati ed incisi dal Cav. Gio. Batt. Piranesi, Rome, 1778 (J. Wilton-Ely, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, San Francisco, 1994, p. 999, plate 921). The design is further even more closely related to a torchre with a similarly placed griffin as support in Piranesi's Diverse maniere d'adornare i cammini ed ogni altra parte degli edifizi desunte dall'architettura egizia, etrusca, greca. Presentate a monsign. D. Giovambatista Rezzonico..., Rome, 1769 (Wilton-Ely, op. cit., p. 952, plate 879) and to a design by Andrea Appiani for a torchre with three griffins on a circular base supporting a flaming dish (G. Morazzoni, Il Mobile Intarsiato di Giuseppe Maggiolini, Milan, 1957, plate LXXXIV).
An ormolu encrier in the form of a Roman sarcophagus supported by four identical griffins was offered anonymously at Semenzato, Palazzo Romano, Rome, 11-16 October 1997, lot 82.