A very fine pair of Louis XV gilt bronze chenets, each formed as an asymmetrical S-shaped scroll surmounted at the top by foliage above open work scallop-shaped scrolls on undulating rocaille feet
Paris, date circa 1745
Height 29.5 cm, width 31 cm, depth 20 cm.
With their asymmetrical forms, the scrolling foliage and rock-like or rocaille decorations, these charming chenets epitomise the organic forms of the Rococo style. This was a style that came about as a reaction against the solemnity of the previous Baroque period, hence delicacy, free handled S-shaped curves and naturalistic motifs predominated. Unlike other styles Rococo design first appeared in the decorative arts and only later did it affect painting, sculpture and architecture.
A distinctive feature of these chenets is the high quality chasing that creates many variations in the surface design such as the contrasting matt and more polished areas as well as various textured elements such as the delicate striations upon the foliage or the band of interlocking lozenge-shaped punch work that lies between the central S-shaped curve and the scallop-shell decoration below. Certainly the chasing indicates that these were made by a leading maître fondeur-ciseleur.
Many chenets from this period supported matching pairs of figures or animals, from putto and Chinese characters to monkeys and domestic pets. However the present pair were probably designed to stand alone and like other pairs they may have come with a matching pair of wall-lights such as eight pairs of chenets of differing models with matching wall-lights, which were sold by the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux to baron de Scheffer on 11th July 1757.