Back to GalleryBack to Gallery


Go to end of page.


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 château in the Loire.
Literature: Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 210, colour pl. XXVIII, illustrating a related candelabrum in the Residenz Museum by Louis Félix 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 (1738–1814) as well as Louis Félix de La Rue (b. 1720 or 31 d. 1765 or 77).
The models were particularly admired by both English Francophile connoisseurs especially during the 1820’s and 1830’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 Léopold 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 Christie’s New York, 2nd November 2000.
As evidence of the models’ enduring popularity such bronzes continued to be made well into the late nineteenth century, notably by the Parisian firm of Eugène Bagues; Bagues advertised identical models, albeit with differing bronze bases in their illustrated catalogue of 1880, which were described as ‘Bouts de table Clodion’ (as shown in an example in the Musée des Art Décoratifs, Paris, illustrated ibid. p. 422, pl. 6.3.1).
Related pairs can also be found in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (illustrated in Anne L. Poulet and Guilhem Scherf, “Clodion 1738-1814”, exhibition catalogue, Musée du Louvre, 1992, pp. 145-147) as well as in the Wallace Collection, London (illustrated in Peter Hughes, “The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture”, 1996, vol. III, p. 1226, figs. 241 (F158 and F159).


Dorfstrasse 30
8322 Gündisau, Switzerland,

tel +41 44 212 00 14
mobile + 41 79 333 40 19
fax +41 44 212 14 10

Exhibitor at TEFAF, Maastricht
Member of the Swiss Antique Association
Founding Member of the Horological Foundation

Art Research: 
Alice Munro Faure, B.Ed. (Cantab),


Back to Gallery