The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Candlestick
  • Etienne Martincourt (active between: 1763 - 1791) , Modeller and Caster
  • France
  • 1780 - 1785
  • Gilt bronze and brass screws
  • Height: 29.8 cm
    Diameter: 13.3 cm, base
  • Stamp: 'MARTINCOURT'
  • F167
  • West Gallery II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Modelled and cast by Etienne Martincourt (active 1763-1791), the chasing and gilding of this pair of candlesticks (see F166) may have been entrusted to a gilder, although after the amalgamation of the founders and gilders into a single guild in 1776 this could also have been done in Martincourt's workshop. The design shows the influence of J-C. Delafosse, but the use of pendent looped chains around the tripod core suggests a later date of 1780 or later. There appears to be no documentary basis for the assertion, made in the sale catalogue of Léopold Double (1881) and previous exhibition catalogues, that the candlesticks once belonged to Marie-Antoinette, but this may have been one of the motivations for their acquisition by Sir Richard Wallace. An engraving of them had been included in Charles Davillier's publication of the sale catalogue of the duc d'Aumont (1870).
    Several other pairs of candlesticks of this model are known, likewise stamped Martincourt. It was claimed in the 19th century that Pierre Gouthière trained in Martincourt's workshop, which may have contributed to the continuing popularity of this model; it continued to be produced throughout the nineteenth century by various different bronziers, and the Wallace Collection owns one of these later versions (F168, F169). A pair, without the gilt-bronze chains looped within the stems, was in the Beurdeley sale in 1895, and at least two pairs stamped H.D. (for Henry Dasson) are known.