These candlesticks with original gilding were made after the design of Juste Aurele Meissonnier (Turin 1695-Paris 1750). This leading Rococo furniture designer in France perfected the art of rotation in designs. This is clearly visible in the highly sculptural stem of the candlesticks with its exquisite spiral. The asymmetrical base features floral ornaments, typical for Meissonnier during the period 1730-1750. The appearance of these beautiful candlesticks varies on all sides due to their twisting form.
Meissonnier's designs were published in print under the title L'Oeuvre de Juste Aurele Meissonnier peintre sculpteur architecte & dessinateur de la chambre et cabinet du roy: Premiere partie executée sous la conduite de l'auteur around 1735.
It is evident that Meissonnier's designs were not only executed by himself but also by others as such a ‘cahier’ was found in the estate of the Parisian silversmith Thomas Germain. Furthermore, Germain and his wife had himself painted in a portrait by Largillière (Museum Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon) with various examples of Meissonnier’s designs. The silversmith is depicted with a piece of chalk in his hand to emphasize that he did not just blindly follow the designs of others, but also elaborated them at his own discretion.
Peter Fuhring, “Meissonnier; un génie du rococo”, 1999
Antiques dealer A. van der Meer, Amsterdam
Private collection, Amsterdam