In 1787, the inventory after death of Monsieur de Tourtonnet mentionned "deux girandoles à trois branches à feuillage et fleurs d'émail avec souche d'arbre en porcelaine surmontée d'oiseaux garni en cuivre doré d'or moulu".
Mademoiselle de Sens, daughter of the Duke of Bourbon owned in 1765 "deux girandoles à trois branches à feuillages et garnies de bronze sur un tronc d'arbre avec oiseaux, 40 liv.".
This model of Sparrow-Hawks (Sperber) was created at Meissen by J.J. Kaendler in April 1734. Other related examples are illustrated in Albiker, Meissener Porzellan, 1935, pls.103-5.
A related pair of identical groups on a different socle was sold anonymously at Ader Palais Galliera, Paris, 25 March 1969, lot 21 and again at Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, 6 June 1975, lot 74.
The distinctive and extremely robust mounts stylistically pre-empt the earliest stirrings of Neo-classicism in the 1750's. Designed in the Louis XV 'pittoresque' style popularised by Juste-Aurèle Meissonier and Nicolas Pineau, these magnificent candelabra are related to a suite of ormolu-mounted Meissen porcelain objects now at the Palazzo Quirinale, Rome. Discussed in A. Gonzalez-Palacios, Gli Arredi Francesi, Milan, 1995, pp.279-289, the majority of these were almost certainly supplied to Madame Infante, Louise-Elizabeth of France, duchesse de Parma for the Palazzo di Colorno. The Colorno Inventory of 1811 records the extremely closely related pair (no.76) in the Chambre d'audience:- Une girandole /ga trois lumi/geres de bronze dor/ae et cisel/ae /ga arabesques a grande feuillage avec une tige de porcelaine fine blanche avec un oiseau de proie. Measuring 66 cm high and valued at 130 franchi, its pair was recorded in the Chambre de toilette n.13, at 90 franchi.
Whilst Madame Infante is known to have purchased much directly from the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux, as well as from the ciseleur, doreur sur métaux du Roy Antoine Lelièvre, it was Caffiéri who was most extensively patronised on the Colorno commision. As Peter Hughes has argued in The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture III, London, 1996, no.266, pp.1310-1315, however, some of the gilt-bronze may actually originally have been commissioned by Louis XV for his own use a few years before and given by him to his eldest daughter; this hypothesis is based particularly upon the ormolu chandelier, also from Colorno, now in the Wallace, which is signed and dated CAFFIERI A PARIS 1751 and was, therefore, commissioned before their arrival in Paris.
The same confident, robust character of mount can also be seen on a vase formely in the collection of Sir Richard Wallce and sold in these Rooms, 11 June 1998, lot 10. It is interesting to note, therefore, that the Wallace vase may be the central vase from a garniture of five sold to the duc d'Orléans and recorded in the livre-journal of Lazare Duvaux on the 22nd April 1757.