In the 2nd century CE, a set of columns were carved in Greek marble for an ancient temple. In the 4th century, Constantine brought the columns to Rome to be incorporated into the high altar at St. Peter’s Basilica. A legend arose that the columns were taken from Solomon’s First Temple in Jerusalem. Since then, most helical pillars with spiraling shafts, such as our 18th century columns have been referred to as “Solomonic Columns”.
A vibrant rendering on the Solomonic theme, Portuguese woodworkers hand-carved the protruding sections of the chestnut columns with twisting grapevines dotted with birds (notice the intricacies of the carvings, such as the birds being depicted at different locations on each column). The tops have been carved in the Composite order, with Ionic volutes above a Corinthian caulicole of curled acanthus leaves. Both columns still have a metal bracket and a screw from an old installation, indicating that they were once used as architecturals. The pair of chestnut Solomonic columns can still be used in that manner, or they could be mounted on a plinth and wired as a unique pair of desk lamps.
CONDITION: Missing some elements as seen in photos, otherwise good strong antique condition with slight traces of old wood worm and repair