A pair of polychrome blackamoor
A pair of sculpted blackamoor torch holders in polychrome wood representing two black Indians from the New World wearing feather hats, skirts and a quiver of arrows in their back and carrying in one hand a vegetal decorated tray. They're standing on a tripod base with whirl shaped feet.The exoticism fashion which appeared early in the 18th century with everything coming from the Middle East, continued until the end of the century and during the beginning of the 19th century with all the influences coming from Africa and America. The publication of the adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe in 1719 and Paul and Virginie by Bernardin de Saint Pierre in 1788 spread the image of the good primitive man living in an idyllic environment and not corrupted by the white man.Many decorative objects represent this theme, confounding the black African, black slaves in North America and the American Indian. The distinction is made thanks to iconography: when the character wears a bandage on his forehead, he comes from Africa and when he is crowned with feathers, he is a Native American.The fashion for these good primitive men lasted until the 19th century, especially with the publication of Atala de Chateaubriand, published in 1801 which was a huge success and was reprinted five times.
Dim: W: 19,7 in - D: 19,7in - H: 53,9in.
Dim: L:50cm, P:50cm, H:137cm.
Bibliography: P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française, du Moyen Age au XIXème siècle, Paris, 1997, ed. de l'Amateur, p342E. Schlumberger, L'heure exotique, in Connaissance des arts, Paris, 1978, n°318, p 30