A pair of important French Louis-Philippe Royal ormolu and hardstone mounted candelabra made for...
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A pair of important French Louis-Philippe Royal ormolu and hardstone mounted candelabra made for Ferdinand-Philippe duc d'Orleans by Guillaume Deniere, designed by Aime Chenavard, the figures by Jean-Jacques Feuchere and the semi-precious and hardstone ornaments by M. Combettes, Paris, each with a female musician finial above a globe issuing eight leaf and lappet scroll branches, above a stem with gargoyle masks, eagles and with an entwined serpent, the circular base applied with hardstones and modelled with a smaller globe with music-making putti, 111cm high. (2)
Commissioned by Ferdinand-Philippe duc d'Orleans (1810-1842) in 1834 and delivered to the Palais des Tuileries, Paris, on the 20th April 1839.
Sold by the duchesse d'Orleans (1814-1858): Hotel Drouot, Paris, 18th-20th January 1853, either lots 3, 4 or most probably lot 6.
By family repute, the candelabra were acquired by Sir James Watts of Abney Hall, Manchester, in the mid-19th century.
Thence by descent to Lady Eleanor Campbell-Orde.
The estate of the late Sir John Alexander Campbell-Orde, 6th Baronet (1943-2016).
THE DUC D'ORLEANS' CANDELABRA - A LOST SURTOUT DE TABLE
Ferdinand-Philippe duc d'Orleans was born in Palermo in 1810. He was the eldest son of King Louis Philippe and was a noted soldier serving in campaigns in Algeria and was one of the most dynamic and popular figures of the July monarchy. Along with his brother, the duc de Nemours, he had apartments in the Pavillon de Marsan in the Tuileries and as a patron of the arts he employed famous architects, artists and ebenistes to furnish them. He commissioned paintings from Delacroix and furniture from Bellange.
After receiving the title of duc d'Orleans in 1830, the young Duke was to order a magnificent surtout de table to grace the dining room which overlooked the rue de Rivoli. The surtout de table was designed by Aime Chenavard and followed the Duke's passion for the Renaissance and Medieval revival styles. The Duke was keen to encourage young emerging artists and many different sculptors and bronziers were responsible for the production of the suite, including: Klagmann, Pradier, Barre, Deniere, Feuchere and a young Antoine-Louis Barye. The surtout consisted of a number of centrepieces, coupes, socles and fourteen candelabra and once laid out must have been an incredible sight.
The Duke sadly died young in a tragic carriage accident in 1842. After his death his wife, the duchesse Helene, remained living in his private apartments along with the surtout until the 1848 revolution, when a mob broke into the apartment and many pictures and works of art, including the surtout, were removed to the Louvre for safe-keeping. After a protracted legal battle, a decree was passed that they should be handed over to the state. To avoid this, the family decided to sell the collection, including the surtout, which was sold by public auction on the 18th, 19th and 20th January 1853. The present lot is most probably from lot six: 'Six candelabres en bronze dore, a huit lumieres, ornes de nielles et de pierre de couleuer, et la base de figures , de J. Feucheres'. They were subsequently acquired by Sir James Watts of Abney Hall, Manchester, and would have appealed to his taste for everything Gothic and Medieval at his Pugin designed country house. They then passed by descent to Lady Eleanor Campbell-Orde and thence to her son, the late Sir John Campbell-Orde.
Other pieces of the surtout de table have recently been sold at auction. In 2011 Sotheby’s sold two magnificent centrepieces, see Sotheby’s, Treasures-Princely Taste, 6th July 2011, lot 30 for £409,250. Also in 2011, Christie’s New York sold a three-piece table garniture, see Christie’s, 500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe, 19th -20th October 2011, lot 160 which realised $104,500. In 2015 again at Christie’s New York, a splendid centrepiece was sold for $269,000, The Opulent Eye, 21st October 2015, lot 198 and most recently in 2017 Christie’s sold an identical pair of candelabra to the present lot for $93,750, Opulence, 13th April 2017, lot 69. (All pieces include buyer’s premium.)
For a detailed examination of the surtout de table, see Isabelle Leroy-Jay Lemaistre’s article entitled ‘Des Sculpteurs et des bronziers’ which features in the book ‘Le Mécénat du duc d’Orléans 1830-1842’, edited by Robert Hervé.