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Magnificent Pair of Gilt-Bronze Figural Empire Period Candelabra


A magnificent and highly important pair of gilt bronze figural Empire period candelabra. The candelabra take the form of a male and female figure in classical dress, the male figure draped with a lions pelt. Each figure is modelled in a contro posto pose and support on their shoulders vases issuing six candle branches. Both figures are raised on square section plinths embellished with finely cast fronded acanthus. In 1804 Napoléon I, crowned himself Emperor of France, ending years of political instability and signalling the dawning of the Empire period. During this time, the economy was booming and a new aristocracy was forming, with Napoleon's court as its cornerstone. The Empire Period saw the revival of classical ideas and influences, primarily in the decorative arts with Napoleon's court adopting classical designs discovered in the archaeological excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum early in the Nineteenth Century. The ancient forms of the classical Greeks and Romans, discovered in these ruins, gained a new popularity during the Empire period. Typical Empire Motifs included the acanthus leaf, anthemion (stylised honeysuckle), animal-paw feet, cornucopia, classical figures, dolphin, eagle, lyre and rosette. For ornamentation, ormolu was a prerequisite.


  • Of the Period
  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
    circa 1815
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 39.77 in. x W 11.82 in. x D 12.6 in.

    H 101 cm x W 30 cm x D 32 cm

  • Seller location
    London, GB
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

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About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2014
Typical response time: 26 hrs
Located in London, GB
The British Antique Dealers' Association
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
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$41,661 Sale Price / set
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