A pair of French ‘Directoire’ candlesticks with three addorsed Egyptian Sphinx heads. The candlesticks stand on a spreading circular base cast with a border of bows and arrows. A ring decorated with draperies supports the tapering stem, which is shaped as three columns on three pairs of human feet. The Egyptian figure heads at the top of the stem carry a cushion with three tassels which in turn support a vase-shaped nozzle topped by kindling flames.
Based on the supreme quality of the bronze casting, the fine craftmanship and the very characteristic embellishments such as the drapery motif (more often seen on clocks by his hand), this pair of candlesticks can be attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843).
Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) was one of the most prominent bronze casters and ciseleurs of the Empire era. Despite his training as a sculptor, he chose to follow in his father's footsteps and become a bronze caster. In this profession, he was the most successful producer of bronzes of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Thomire trained with Pierre Gouthière before establishing his own workshop to produce gilt bronze furniture ornaments. He later became assistant to Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis, who was director of the Manufacture de Sèvres. After Duplessis’ death in 1783, Thomire resumed his profession as a bronze caster designing and producing, among other things, gilt bronze mounts for porcelain. He was appointed "Ciseleur de l'Empereur" in 1809.
The pair of candlesticks features an inscription in ink underneath the base: ‘Mme Guerrier No 200’. This may well to Adélaïde Marie Durant who was married to Ange Joseph René Guerrier de Romagnat (1757-1807).