A fine pair of early nineteenth century gilt bronze and white marble figural two-light candelabra, each formed as a dancing infant Bacchus with fruiting vine headdress and nude except for a vine-leaf loincloth, holding in each hand spirally fluted cornucopia branches spilling over with grapes and terminated by beaded nozzles, both standing on a rocky base spread with a lion pelt, one infant with a tambourine and upturned vase, the other with a sack, on a stop fluted circular white marble pedestal with beaded and ribbon-tied laurel banded plinth, on a beaded square stepped base with burnished panels
Paris, date circa 1830
Height 50 cm, width 25 cm. each.
Provenance: From the collection of a chÃƒÂ¢teau in the Loire.
Literature: Hans Ottomeyer and Peter PrÃƒÂ¶schel, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Vergoldete BronzenÃ¢â‚¬Â, 1986, p. 210, colour pl. XXVIII, illustrating a related candelabrum in the Residenz Museum by Louis FÃƒÂ©lix de La Rue after Clodion of 1780.
Although the bronzier responsible for this pair of candelabra is unrecorded, the model itself enjoyed an enormous success during the latter part of the eighteenth century and well into the nineteenth century and shares much in common with the oeuvre of the sculptors, Claude Michel, known as Clodion (1738Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1814) as well as Louis FÃƒÂ©lix de La Rue (b. 1720 or 31 d. 1765 or 77).
The models were particularly admired by both English Francophile connoisseurs especially during the 1820Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and 1830Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and in many instances such candelabra, created in both patinated and gilt bronze, remained in the same collections for many generations. A pair of candelabra of the same design was purchased by a Mr. Fortnum in London 1852 from the collection of LÃƒÂ©opold I, King of the Belgians and is now housed at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Further distinguished collectors to own such pairs include the comtesse de Flahaut at Coventry House, London in 1863, whose candelabra were subsequently sold by the Trustees of the Meiklour Settlement in London 11th June 1992. Another pair formerly owned by the 6th Lord Ashburton K.C.V.O. was sold at auction in London on 19th March 1964. In more recent years an almost identical pair was acquired by Djahanguir Riahi and was included in the sale of his celebrated collection held at ChristieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s New York, 2nd November 2000.
As evidence of the modelsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ enduring popularity such bronzes continued to be made well into the late nineteenth century, notably by the Parisian firm of EugÃƒÂ¨ne Bagues; Bagues advertised identical models, albeit with differing bronze bases in their illustrated catalogue of 1880, which were described as Ã¢â‚¬ËœBouts de table ClodionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (as shown in an example in the MusÃƒÂ©e des Art DÃƒÂ©coratifs, Paris, illustrated ibid. p. 422, pl. 6.3.1).
Related pairs can also be found in the MusÃƒÂ©e du Louvre, Paris (illustrated in Anne L. Poulet and Guilhem Scherf, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Clodion 1738-1814Ã¢â‚¬Â, exhibition catalogue, MusÃƒÂ©e du Louvre, 1992, pp. 145-147) as well as in the Wallace Collection, London (illustrated in Peter Hughes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Wallace Collection Catalogue of FurnitureÃ¢â‚¬Â, 1996, vol. III, p. 1226, figs. 241 (F158 and F159).