The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Candelabrum
  • Attributed to Jean-Louis Prieur (1732 - 1795) , Possibly
  • France
  • 1766 - 1770
  • Gilt bronze
  • Height: 80.5 cm
    Width: 38 cm
  • F138
  • Back State Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Both the design and model of these candelabra (with F139) are attributed to the sculptor and bronze founder Jean-Louis Prieur (1732-1795), reminding us of how important drawing and modelling skills were in the production of gilt bronze. Prior qualified first not as a metalworker but as a sculptor, and after his second bankruptcy in 1778 he turned to publishing his designs. He produced many drawings in 1766 for Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, king of Poland, in which he showed a predilection for the use of infants in the design of candlesticks, candelabra and clocks. He was not the only designer/architect to use them as motifs, but the infants on these candelabra show marked similarities to his designs, including the pronounced foreheads and deep-set eyes.
    Other examples of the same model, from both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, are known. The attribution to Prieur is further strengthened by a pair of the same model auctioned in 1913 at the Oppenheim sale which were accompanied by a clock bearing Prieur’s signature.