A fine pair of Directoire gilt bronze candlesticks attributed to Claude Galle, each surmounted by a removable flaming finial above a gadrooned drip-pan and nozzle issuing from a vase-shaped stem headed by a frieze cast with three winged putto heads, the body of the stem applied with foliate sprays terminating in tripartite legs with cloven hoof feet, upon a circular plinth cast with winged genies holding ribbon swags upon a stepped circular base with foliate and beaded borders
Paris, date circa 1795
Height 25 cm. each.
Claude Galle (1759-1815), who made his name as one of the leading fondeur-ciseleurs of the Louis XVI, Directoire and Empire periods, was known for the ingenuity and finesse of his candlesticks. The genies compare with those decorating three pairs delivered by Galle to Fontainebleau in 1804 and 1805 (illustrating in Jean-Pierre Samoyault, "Pendules et bronzes d'ameublement entrés sous le Premier Empire; Catalogue des Collections de Mobilier, Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau", 1989, p. 193, no. 179).
The frieze of winged putto heads below the nozzles and the effect of the tripod supports for the stem recalls a pair of candlesticks made by Etienne Martincourt (fl. 1763-91) in the Wallace Collection (illustrated and discussed in Peter Hughes, "The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furniture", 1996, vol. III, pp.1240-46, nos. 245