A pair of impressive candelabra each composed of an ormolu vase mounted with three eagles’ heads linked by floral garlands, supporting a tapered spirally fluted standard surmounted by a Corinthian capital and an ormolu mounted pistachino marble urn with flame finial. The curved reeded candle branches cast with spiral fluting and acanthus leaves, the whole above a flared triangular white marble base marked at the corners with rams’ heads and mounted on each side with a plaque depicting a winged torso cast with acanthus leaves, raised upon the backs of three ormolu griffins above a concave-sided triangular bleu turquin marble socle decorated with rinceaux above ormolu feet.
The design of these candelabra can be found on a coloured pen drawing in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. It depicts two proposals for a composition of decorations for a mantelpiece and is attributed to the workshop of Pierre-Philippe Thomire around 1785.
A similar pair of candelabra from the Jaime Ortiz-Patiño collection has been sold by Sotheby’s New York on May 20. 1992.
Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843)
Thomire was one of the most famous bronze casters and ciseleurs during the French Empire era. Although trained as a sculptor, Thomire chose to follow in his father’s footsteps, and take up the more lucrative profession of ‘fondeur’. He became the leading bronze artist of the late 18th and early 19th century. Thomire was trained by Gouthière and afterwards founded his own company that manufactured ornamental bronzes for furniture. Later, Thomire became assistant to Duplessis, the director of the Manufacture de Sèvres. After the death of Duplessis in 1783, Thomire turned once again to bronze casting and manufactured bronze fittings for porcelain artefacts. In 1809 Thomire was awarded the title “Ciseleur de l’Empereur”.Five