A superb pair of Louis XVI gilt and patinated bronze and Villefranche de Conflent marble four-light figural candelabra attributed in part to François Rémond and possibly commissioned by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, each supported by a beautiful patinated bronze Classical maiden in contraposto pose with long coiled hair worn in a chignon, wearing diaphanous Classical robes, one leaning to her left and the other to her right, the former with one leg exposed, the latter with both legs exposed, both holding against her hip a spiralled cornucopia from which issues a central upright candle branch from which issue three further foliate scrolled candle branches each with a vase-shaped nozzle and circular drip-pans, each figure standing upon a circular marble plinth headed by an egg-and-dart border above a stiff leaf band below on a square gilt bronze base
Paris, date circa 1785
Height 90 cm. each.
Literature: Peter Hughes, “The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture”, 1996, vol. III, pp.1271-1276, no. 251 (F142-7), illustrating and discussing a set of four and a pair of five-light candelabra of very similar form with near identical figures but with slightly differing candle branches and different bases.
The figures on these wonderful candelabra relate to those on six candelabra of circa 1785 in the Wallace Collection, London, which Peter Hughes attributes in part to the renowned fondeur François Rémond (1747-1812) and notes that they may have been commissioned by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre. The Wallace Collection maidens are in almost exactly the same pose though their dresses are more scant above; though the candle branches differ slightly and are surmounted by flaming torches as here they issue from spiralled cornucopia. The main difference between this pair and those in the Wallace Collection revolves around the bases which in the latter case are composed of bleu turquin and are generally more ornate. Hughes notes that the design of the Wallace Collection candelabra with their partially draped female figures holding cornucopiae against their hips must derive from that of twenty four candle stands carved by Babel in 1769 for the Grande Galerie at Versailles. He also lists a number of candelabra that have the same or very similar female maidens such as two pairs in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace London which came from the Ante Chamber to the throne Room at Carlton House. Others include a pair with three-lights that were in the San Donato sale of 1880 as well as a pair with similar pedestals to those on the Wallace Collection but with differing candle branches that were in the collection of Alfred de Rothschild at Seamore Place London as well as another pair similar to the latter that was in the Madame Dhainaut sale in 1924. In addition there is a comparable pair displayed in the library of the King’s inner apartment at Versailles as well as a pair supported on gilt bronze truncated columns with candle branches cast as two rose and two lily sprays (sold by Sotheby’s London, 11th July 1969, lot 132). The present candelabra also closely compare with another pair sold by this gallery, which featured similar patinated figures supporting scrolled candle branches issued from cornucopiae (illustrated in “Richard Redding Masterpieces of the Past”, 2000, p. 255).
François Rémond (1747-1812) was one of the leading Parisian fondeurs working during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. His oeuvre included a number of similarly styled candelabra as well as clock cases. The son of a voiturier or carriage-maker, Rémond began an apprenticeship with the doreur Pierre-Antoine Vial in 1763 and in 1774 was received as a maître-fondeur. His production was large and such that he built up a successful business. He worked extensively for the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre but also enjoyed patronage from members of the French court including Marie-Antoinette, the comte d’Artois, the duc de Penthièvre and the comte d’Adhémar. He also worked in collaboration with the bronze caster Pierre Gouthière, helping him on some of his larger projects until Gouthière declared bankruptcy in 1788. Rémond also supplied mounts for various ébénistes, including David Roentgen and Jean-Henri Riesener as well bronze cases and mounts to the Parisian clockmakers.