Period Napoleon III furnishings are typically very versatile items, due to the fact that they incorporate elements from preceding styles, allowing these “Second Empire” pieces to be paired with offerings from other regimes. In the case of this pair of silvered bronze mirrored sconces, the style is inspired by the Regence period of the early 18th century.
Crafted circa 1850 in France, the sconces have asymmetrical motifs often seen during the Regence, such as the curled leaves that trace along the borders. The positioning of the foliage is so subtle that the overall composition remains symmetrical; it is only upon closer examination that you will notice the variations in the minutiae. Also widely used during the Regence, the shaped mirrors are immediately bordered by patterned grounds of roundels that surround an Apolline mascaron beneath double eagle heads and small fluting that is encompassed by flowers and numerous curled leaves. Other decorative elements include a foliate margent, scrolls, and a pierced sunburst behind the mascaron, most of which partially obscure the edges of the mirror.
At the base of the mirror is a large foliate cup with three S-curve arms extending from the center. Each is embellished with a rinceau of curled leaves and topped by a wide, flat gadrooned bobeche with another foliate cup on the underside. A cylindrical capital with a gadrooned circular top can support a one inch candle, or they could be wired for small watt bulbs. Our pair of Regence style mirrored sconces would also make fantastic decorative wall elements.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with slight rubs and discoloration to areas of the frames. Light loss of silvering to the mirrors, which is a desired appearance for mirrors of this age. Minor buildup to capitals, which is commensurate with wax residue from use. One sconce has a missing center capital and a replaced right one. Some capitals are loose, but securely attached.