A wonderful pair of Empire gilt and patinated bronze four-light candelabra, each surmounted by a central cloud-cast nozzle above a circular drip-pan supported on a tripartite stand with lion paw feet above three dolphin-headed trumpet-shaped branches terminating in vase-shaped nozzles issuing from a turned shaft, headed by flaming winged torches, the lower urn-shaped shaft with ram's heads on a three sided pedestal with canted corners decorated with Medusa masks within an oak leaf wreath above a ribbon-tied bow and arrow, the canted corners decorated with cast flaming torches supported on three owls with splayed wings at either corner on a stepped hexagonal base
Paris, date circa 1810-15
Height 69 cm, width 24 cm. each.
Many of the symbolic decorations associated with Empire design are incorporated within these magnificent candelabra; such motifs include the winged torches, lion paw feet, ram's heads, Medusa masks, oak leaves, bows and arrows as well as the combination of gilt and patinated bronze. It is significant that the celebrated Empire bronzier Claude Galle (1759-1815) supplied a pair of candlesticks decorated with three owls below the drip-pan to the '2 ème salon de l'Impératrice' at the Palais de Fontainebleau in 1807; the latter described as 'une paire en cuivre gaines rondes griffes et hiboux dorés or mat hauteur 29 c' (J. P. Samoyault, "Pendules et Bronzes d'Ameublement entrés sous le Premier Empire", 1989, no. 157, p. 176). Galle supplied another pair of candlesticks, likewise with owls to the 'appartement de la dame d'honneur de l'Impératrice' at Fontainebleau between 1804-5.