This pair of bronze five-light candelabras was produced in France in the early 1800’s, during the Empire period that coincided with the rule of Napoleon. Under Napoleon’s decree that a king is only a king “when dressed”, artwork and furniture from this time was highly ornate and neoclassical in nature. Napoleon believed that pieces produced during this time should rival the ancient works of Rome, Greece, Egypt and Macedonia.
The candle cups of the candelabra are two-tiered. The topmost tier has a single cup adorned with gilded scoop molding. The cup sits on top of an urn-shaped node with curled palmette decoration. Palmettes, called anthemion by ancient Greeks and Romans, are often found in Empire pieces. The gilded bobeche has a brattish motif of alternating acanthus and lotus leaves. Beneath this is a stem of alternating chocolate and gilt brass color scheme that sits in the middle of the four stems of the lower tiered cups. The four foliate leaf bobeches on the lower tier have scrolling rinceaux arms, adorned with spiral fluting, grape clusters, and palmettes. The cups have pin-point sized beading, which is another trait of Empire craft
All five arms rest on a beaded shoulder. Below are multiple layers of gilded décor that include more beading and scoop with a foliate motif that are supported by a fluted Corinthian column. At the bottom of the column is a gilded layer of raised acanthus leaves that has curled foliate lips above and below. There is one final layer to the column that tapers into a scoop knot that sits upon the base.
The tripod base curls upward with acanthus leaf ornamentation above downward facing grape clusters. The lip of the curl abuts against the floral motif kneecaps that sit upon monopodia paw feet. Lions, tripods and monopodia elements are all aspects of Empire creations. Each base sits on a plinth that is a negatively curved triangle, meaning the sides are concave curves, rather than straight lines.
These regal and classically inspired French Empire candelabras will add a touch of refinement to any surface on which they are placed.
CONDITION: Good antique condition. One cup on each candelabra has been replaced. Minor surface buildup, but otherwise in very good condition. One candelabra is slightly taller than the other and one arm is slightly loose.