These candlesticks can be related to designs of wall-lights by Louis Prieur of circa 1775, which were further interpreted by Jean-Franois Forty in circa 1780 in his 'Oeuvres de Sculpture en Bronze. Contenant Girandoles, Flambeaux, Feux, Pendules, Bras, Cartels, Baromtres, Inventes et Dessines par J.F.F'. (H. Ottomeyer, P. Prschel, et.al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. , p. 288, figs. 4.16.1 and 4.16.2).
A pair of almost identical but entirely gilt candlesticks was sold from 'A Distinguished Collection of French Furniture' in these Rooms, 19 May 1983, lot 29. Another pair of entirely gilt candlesticks of this model was sold anonymously at Sotheby's Monaco, 3 March 1990, lot 192; while a further pair in patinated bronze and ormolu was sold anonymously at Ader Picard Tajan Paris, 21 June 1989, lot 115.
Meaning of Ornament
Vine-clad fauns, youthful attendants of the Arcadian deity Pan, celebrate the Autumnal festivities, and serve as basket-bearing caryatids while standing on Etruscan pearl-wreathed 'altar' plinths capped by bacchic tambourines. Conceived in the French 'Grecian' fashion.