This wonderful pair of lion candle holders come from the faience factory of Saint-Clement, France, in the later half of the 19th century. The Art Nouveau candle holders are after Emile Galle of Maison Galle-Reinemer and the house designer, Gengoult Prouve.
The factory in Saint-Clement was formed in 1758 by Jacques Chambrette. Chambrette already owned a factory in the nearby town of Luneville, located in the Lorraine region. However, at this time, Lorraine was an independent state and goods imported from here were taxed heavily. To circumvent the duty, Chambrette established the Saint-Clement factory, which was inside French territory. Production continues to this day at the Saint-Clement location.
Galle was a French artist who is synonymous with the Art Nouveau style. Art Nouveau was a brief movement that occurred at the end of the 1800’s. The style is known to be groundbreaking and organic, as artists were looking to reform traditional ideals. As Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, the French architect who inspired Art Nouveau, wrote in his book, Entretiens sur l’architecture: “Use the means and knowledge given to us by our times, without the intervening traditions which are no longer viable today, and in that way we can inaugurate a new architecture. For each function its material; for each material its form and its ornament.”
The lions here are considered rampant guardant, meaning that they are depicted rearing up on their hind legs (rampant) with the body sideways and the face toward the viewer (guardant). Their paws are holding stylized castles that function as a place to insert candles. The blue and white coloration is typical of faience pieces from this era.
These faience lions can still be used as candle holders or simply as decorative pieces. You can place them just about anywhere in a house, such as on top of a mantel or on a table in the living room.
CONDITION: More information coming soon…