The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Candelabrum
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • 1765 - 1770
  • Gilt bronze, black lacquer, steel bolts and white marble
  • Height: 136.2 cm
    Width: 41.5 cm
  • Stamp: '2'
    Stamp: '2'
    Stamp: '2'
    Stamp: '2'
  • F155
  • West Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The inspiration for these candelabra (with F154), which can be transformed into pastille burners by removing the lids of the vases, is the tripod form of incense burners that were believed to have been used in Ancient Greece and Rome and they clearly illustrate the way in which the taste for the classical past gripped the decorative arts in Paris from the 1760s. Here the metal has been gilded and lacquered black to represent ‘bronze antique’. White marble pedestal stands, cloven-hoof feet and rams’ head motifs lend more classicizing effects to the candelabra.
    Tripod-mounted incense- or perfume-burners became popular accoutrements for fashionable rooms in the late 1760s and 1770s, and many variants – in gilt wood, hardstone or gilt-bronze – of different sizes were produced. These tripods recall the furniture and decorative art being made in England during the 1760s, including the designs of the architects Robert Adam and, particularly, James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. They also resemble the gilt-bronze candelabra cast by Philippe Caffiéri for the Warsaw Palace in 1766-68, although the form is more authentically classical than Caffiéri’s confection, suggesting a slightly later date.