This celebrated model is first recorded on 26 June 1783, when the ciseleur-fondeur François Rémond invoiced the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre 'Pour fonte, façon Et Dorure mate d'une pre de grands flambeaux à 4. figures, Et á guirlandes et fleur, Etc 1050 livres'. Subsequently further mentioned by Rémond on 28 June 1786 - 'Pour fourniture d'une paire de grand flambeaux à quatre Cariathide dor mat 888 livres' - it seems that, on the first instance at least, Rémond executed the casting, chasing and gilding to the direct order of Daguerre, who in all probability owned the master model.
Daguerre was almost certainly responsible, therefore, for supplying the comte de Vaudreuil with both candelabra and candlesticks of this model and it is certainly possible that these candelabra were amongst those owned by Vaudreuil. Subsequently included in the Vaudreuil sale in Paris on 26 November 1787, lots 377-381, they were described as follows:-
'377. Deux flambeaux portant des girandoles cinq bobèches de genre arabesque & têtes de sphinx; les corps forment un groupe de quatre cariatides de femmes adossés & finissant en gaine & cercles de guirlandes de fleurs: la bobèche portant la tige de la girandole offre un vase de jolie forme & richement orne; le pied est grandes feuilles d'eau & cannelure. Hauteur 25 pouces. 1400 Le Brun
378 Deux flambeaux comme les precedens. 900 id.
379 Deux flambeaux comme les precedens. 900 id.
381 Deux flambeaux comme les precedens. 900 id'.
The design for this model of candlestick has traditionally been attributed to the architect Jean-Demosthène Dugourc (1749-1825) on the basis of a drawing now held in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (GF 21 no. 38.378). Included in an album of designs for furniture subsequently delivered to both Madame Elisabeth and the comte de Provence and inscribed Dessin par J.D. Dugourc, architecte et dessinateur Du Cabinet de Monsieur Frère Du Roi. Paris. 1790, it is also annotated Executé par Gouthière, Siseleur doreur du Roy faubourg St. Martin. This secondary inscription is in a different hand, however, and its authenticity has been convincingly challenged by C. Baulez in Gouthière, H. Ottomeyer/P. Pröschel et. al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol.II, p.600. In that the model is first recorded as early as 1783, moreover, the surprisingly late date inscribed on the sheet would appear to prevent the attribution of this model conclusively to Dugourc. Verlet and Hughes, however, have since suggested that the design is indeed Dugourc's from circa 1783, since he himself claimed to have designed in the genres Arabesques et Etrusque some nine or ten years before the Revolution, but that it depicts both executed and projected designs, and this would certainly explain the existence of the several recorded examples of this model during the 1780s (P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe Siécle, Paris, 1987, p.600.
Hughes, op. cit., lists the various recorded 18th and 19th century candlesticks, the former including a pair in the Wallace Collection, London (F174-5); another in the Musée Carnavalet, Paris and another single one was sold anonymously in Paris, Ader Picard Tajan, 15 March 1983, lot 103. From this, it is fair to conclude that there is a strong possibility that these candelabra are indeed those from the Vaudreuil sale of 1787. There are, however, several further 18th century sale references to this model, and so this provenance cannot be conclusively substantiated.
JEAN-DEMOSTHENE DUGOURC (1749-1825)
The son of an important member of the Orléans household, Dugourc was appointed architecte et dessinateur du Cabinet de Monsieur the duc d'Orléans, brother of Louis XVI, in 1780. In 1781 Dugourc furnished designs for costumes and decorations for the Royal Opera in Stockholm and in 1783 he was appointed directeur des costumes et décors de l'Opéra in Paris. It was in 1784, however, with his promotion as Intendant des bâtiments to the duc, that he finally became attached as dessinateur to the Garde Meuble de la Couronne. Following the Revolution, Dugourc fled to Spain, where he was appointed as Royal architect in 1800 and he remained there until finally returning to France with the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1815.
FRANCOIS REMOND AND DOMINIQUE DAGUERRE
The ciseleur-doreur François Rémond, son of a voiturier or carriage-maker, was born in 1747. Following an apprenticeship with the doreur Pierre-Antoine Vial, he was elected maître on 14 December 1774 and worked principally for the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, although he was also employed directly by ébénistes such as David Roentgen and Jean-Henri Riesener. He also enjoyed a flourishing business with a private clientele, counting Marie-Antoinette, the comte d'Artois, the duc de Penthièvre and the comte d'Adhémar amongst his principal patrons.
The heir to Simon-Philippe Poirier's atelier, Dominique Daguerre specialised in supplying objets de luxe to the French Court and, following the Revolution, particularly the English nobility. Based in the rue St. Honoré, as his trade label reveals he Tient Magafin de Porcelaines, Bronzes, Ebénisterie, Glaces, Curiosités, & autres Marchandifes. In 1786, Daguerre signed an agreement with Josiah Wedgwood for the exclusive rights to sell Wedgwood's Jasperware in Paris, and in the 1780's he opened a shop in Piccadilly, London to supply George, Prince of Wales and his circle, including the Duke of Bedford and Earl Spencer.
A SET OF FOUR LOUIS XVI ORMOLU FIVE-LIGHT CANDELABRA
24 in. (61 cm.) high overall; 11¼ in. (28.5 cm.) wide; the candlesticks alone 16¼ in. (41.5 cm.) high (4)
FOR THE WALLACE PAIR:-
The Spere, 9 March 1912, p.278 (illustrated in situ in the Drawing Room at 5 Connaught Place, London).
P.Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, London, 1996, F174-5 and p.1570, fig.1 and p.1570.
Possibly supplied by Daguerre to the comte de Vaudreuil and subsequently sold in Paris, 26 November 1787, amongst lots 377-81.
Probably Sir Richard Wallace, rue Lafitte, Paris, sold by Sir John Murray Scott, Christie's London, 24 June 1913, lot 159 (one pair).
Probably Collection Seligmann, sold in Paris, 9-12 March 1914, lot 290 (7100 Ffr. to Hodgkins) (one pair).
Acquired from Kraemer and Cie., Paris, May 1970.