This pair of small 19th century bronze candlesticks (“bougeoirs” in French) was crafted in the Renaissance style.
The circular molded base has two rings of Greek key – one on the lower base and a second on the elevated bobeche. Greek key is a decorative border formed by a continuous line that is patterned into a repetitive motif. It also is referenced as “Greek fret” or “meander” and has been an important symbol in Greece since ancient times. In between the two Greek key is a row of scrolling foliate motif on top of a row of foliate rinceaux. The rinceaux is repeated one more time above the Greek key on the bobeche.
A column in the shape of an urn rises from the middle of the bobeche. The top of the urn is open, which is where the candle would rest. The urn is decorated with various motifs such as more foliate rinceaux and gadrooning. The most eye-catching aspect of the urn is the pair of figural grotesque handles on the side of the urn. These became popular design motifs during the Renaissance due to the discoveries of similar designs excavated from ancient Roman houses: “Italian grotteschi”
Candlesticks were widely used for many hundreds of years throughout France. But this style, with the large circular base, was most often intended for table use. In the Middle Ages, iron candlesticks were used in kitchens, wood in the large castle rooms, and bronze, copper or brass in bourgeois interiors.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor surface buildup (wax, etc). Wear commensurate to age and use.