Jean-Marie Pinçon and Olivier Gaube du Gers, "Odiot L'Orfèvre", p. 181, pl. 287 illustrating a design for a more elaborate ten-light candelabrum with similar scrolled branches, sockets and foliate drip-pans by Gustave Odiot, dated 1862.
A superb pair of Rococo style silver seven-light candelabra by Jean-Baptiste-Gustave Odiot, each with foliate vase-shaped sockets and foliate drip-pans, the central upright and four scrolled foliate branches issuing from a foliate vase-shaped shaft on a scrolled baluster shaped stem and shaped circular scrolled rocaille base
Paris, date circa 1900
Fully hallmarked. Height 52cm
On the death of Charles-Nicolas Odiot (1789-1868), his son, Jean-Baptiste-Gustave (known as Gustave, 1823-1912), succeeded the renowned Odiot silver-manufacturing firm. The growing interest in the Rococo revival, which had emerged under Charles-Nicolas's management was more fully exploited by his son. During the 1860's both men had produced pieces in the Chinese style. The chinoiserie taste had been immensely popular during the early eighteenth century and reemerged as part of the nineteenth century Rococo revival. Gustave Odiot also introduced element from other past historical styles including Renaissance and Louis XVI forms. Sometimes Gustave combined two different styles to create a unique piece. Such a variety was part and parcel of the wider eclectic taste that prevailed throughout Europe during the nineteenth century.
The renowned dynasty of the Odiot family, which had dominated French silver manufacture since the late eighteenth century, was launched to fame by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot (1763-1850). In 1827 he was succeeded by his son Charles-Nicolas Odiot (1789-1868) and then on the latter's death Odiot was continued by his son, Jean-Baptiste-Gustave (known as Gustave, 1823-1912). Gustave proved a fine manager securing an appointment with the Imperial Russian court, 1898 and counted among his other illustrious patronsthe Duc l'Aumale, Marie d'Orléans, Madame Léopold Goldschmidt, M. Gunsburgh and Cesar Trezza de Mussella of Italy. Good management was combined with strong design, a number of his finest pieces being modelled by Gilbert and executed by the ciseleur Diomède, who both worked on an important Louis XVI style tea service, exhibited in 1887.
Though Charles-Nicolas incorporated Rococo elements within his designs the style was more fully exploited by his son Gustave. For instance under his management the firm produced a fine bougeoir de toilette, 1883 (Odiot Collection); clearly inspired by the work of the great Rococo silversmith Thomas Germain (1673-1740); it included shell-shaped dishes and naturalistic asymmetrically stemmed candlesticks. Gustave Odiot's interest in the Rococo revival was part of a much wider interest in earlier styles that embraced all the decorative arts. He also made pieces in the Louis XVI style, much favoured by Napoleon III's wife Empress Eugénie, for instance a Louis XVI style silver gilt jardinière (private collection) exhibited at the Exposition Universelle 1867, where the firm won one of the highest prizes. In other instances the firm's work looked back to the Renaissance design, for instance a set of silver gilt knives and forks with porcelain handles, 1890 (Odiot Collection), the mixture of materials for manufacture of cutlery being innovative in itself. Like his father Gustave shared a passion for Japanese art and particularly the techniques used in making Far Eastern metalwork. They were also strongly influence by Chinese art and Chinoiserie design which was so prevalent within the Rococo. Rarely however was only one past style imitated so that as here elements from more that one period of history were incorporated within a single piece.