This is an exquisite large antique pair of dark patinated bronze and gilded ormolu five light, four branch Empire candelabra, Circa 1860 in date.
Each is cast as a classical muse and stands on canted square plinths cast with acanthus.
There is no mistaking the unique quality and design of this elegant pair and they are sure to become the centrepiece of your collection.
This beautiful pair are in elegant Empire style, a neoclassical style prevalent in France during the first part of the 19th century.
Bought on our last buying trip to Montpelier.
In excellent original condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 68 x Width 30 x Depth 30
Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot, 3 inches x Width 1 foot x Depth 1 foot
Our reference: 07671
Ormolu -(from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-caratgoldin amercuryamalgamto an object ofbronze.The mercury is driven off in akilnleaving behind a gold-coloured veneerknown as'gilt bronze'.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding orfire-gilding, in which a solution ofnitrate of mercuryis applied to a piece ofcopper,brass, or bronze, followed by the application of anamalgamof gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour.Electroplatingis the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used onsilver, to producesilver-gilt(also known asvermeil).
is an early-19th-centurydesignmovement inarchitecture,furniture, otherdecorative arts, and thevisual artsfollowed in Europe and America until around 1830.
The style originated in and takes its name from the rule ofNapoleon Iin theFirst French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon's leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to theBiedermeierstyle in the German-speaking lands,Federal stylein the United States and to theRegency stylein Britain. The previous style was calledLouis XVI style, in France.
The Empire style was based on aspects of the Roman Empire. It is the second phase of neoclassicism which is also called "Directoire", after a goverment system.
Furniture typically had symbols and ornaments borrowed from the glorious ancient Greek and Roman empires.
The furniture was made from heavy woods such asmahoganyandebony, imported from the colonies, with dark finishes often with decorative bronze mounts. Marble tops were popular as were Egyptian motifs like sphinxes, griffins, urns and eagles and the Napoleonic symbols, the eagle, the bee, the initials "I" and a large "N."
Gilded bronze (ormolu) details displayed a high level of craftsmanship.
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