This elegant, large French bronze lantern was produced circa 1890 in the style of Louis XV. The glass panes have been arranged in a 25-inch diameter hexagon with a central cluster of six lights.
The top of the beveled-edge glass is shaped and surrounded by a grooved molding. A shaped cartouche with an oval medallion center surmounts the molding. Similarly shaped cartouches with raised central roundels can be seen atop each of the vertical mullions that separate the panes. These cartouches are flanked by small, stylized shells on the molding.
Attached to the back of each mullion is six sinuous supports that form a crown. Although the supports are curvaceous, they have angular inflection points, which meshes with the grooved molding beneath. These supports terminate inside a cup at the base of the gadrooned and beaded canopy. Emerging from the center of this gathering is an iron rod that extends through the interior of the lantern. The rod terminates in a small noix (“nut”) beneath the six arms that hold the lights. Each light extends from hex-shaped bobeches with rolled rims that sit on top of square joints with diapered backgrounds.
Lanterns have been used as a source of light since antiquity. During the reign of Louis XIV, thousands of lanterns were installed in Parisian streets, serving as a forebearer to today’s streetlights. Today our large French Louis XV style lantern would make a grand statement hanging in the entrance of any home.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with rubs to bronze. Light buildup to glass with a minor chip to one panel. The glass panes are held in place by metal strips on the inside that are affixed with studs. A few studs are missing or have been replaced with small screws. Recently wired for use in American homes.