Early 1700s Pair Of Louis XV Ormolu Gilded Bronze Sconces Attributed to Jacques Caffieri(1678-1755)
14 inches Width X 4 1/2 inches Depth X 20 inches Height
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Each sconce of asymmetrical rocaille design with foliate-cast backplate issuing two foliate S and C- scrolling candle arms mounted throughout with stylized leaf-tip motifs. Drilled for electricity. These magnificent wall lights (or scones) achieve the miracle of not having a heavy design in spite of the number of lights, through the overall sumptuous design. The quality of the chasing is also the work of a superb craftsman and can be associated with Jacques Caffiéri (1678-1755). One of the leading fondeur-ciseleurs and sculptors to work for the French court under Louis XV, he delighted in creating the most ornate and complicated Rococo work. Jacques Caffiéri was one of the most important members of a prominent family of sculptors and metal workers. Of Italian decent, he was the son of the carver, sculptor and bronzier Philippe Caffiéri (1634-1716) who travelled from Naples at the request of Cardinal Mazarin and later was employed by the Crown at the Gobelins with an appointment as sculpteur de Roi. His tenth child Jacques Caffiéri was also gifted in this field and was elected to the Académie de Saint-Luc as a sculptor and thus created many of the original designs for proprietary models for his foundry. He was also received as a maître fondeur-ciseleur shortly before 1715 and from then until his death was established at rue des Canettes. As a nephew of Louis XV's chief designer and painter Charles Le Brun, Jacques Caffiéri soon found good connections. From 1736 onward he was constantly employed by the Crown, being appointed fondeur-ciseleur des Bâtiments du Roi. As such he produced works for many of the royal palaces and counted among his prestigious clientele Louis XV, Queen Marie Leczinska, Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompidou as well as his daughter Madame Elizabeth. Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, "Vergoldete Bronzen", 1986, Vol. I, p. 141, pl. 2.11.11 and 2.11.13, illustrating one of a pair of similar overt Rococo wall-lights of circa 1750, "The Wrightsman Collection", 1966, vol. II, pl. 217 A and B, illustrating one of another pair of similarly elaborate two-light wall-lights attributed to Jacques Caffiéri dated circa 1745-49 in the Wrightsman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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