SUBERB PAIR FRENCH GILT BRONZE CANDLESTICKS
An Exceptionally Fine Quality Pair of LARGE Heavy Gauge French Ormolu Rococo Style Table or Desk Single Light Candlesticks in the manner of Juste Aurele Meissonier.
Each having a fluted tulip-form candle socket over a very ornate waisted central stem ending on domed circular lavish cast bases depicting scroll detail and butterflies and insects. Last half of the Nineteenth Century.
Condition: These pieces have been professionally re-gold plated, they retain their original firm fitting heavy gauge drip pans.
Height: (entire as shown image one) 11” (28cm). Width: (at base) 6.5” (16.5cm). Depth: (at base) 6.25" (16cm).
Juste Aurèle Meissonier (1695–1750), an Italian who came to Paris in 1723, was a goldsmith, sculptor, painter, architect, and furniture designer. He is often considered the leading originator of the influential Rococo style in the decorative arts. Described by one of his contemporaries as "an unruly genius, and, what's more, spoilt by Italy."
Born at Turin on March 17, 1695, the son of Etienne Meissonnier II (b.1660) a goldsmith from Aix-en-Provence, France.
His first recorded commission was for the engraving of dies for the Turin Mint. And his second, in 1715, for a medal die for the French Royal Mint.
His Italian origin and training were probably responsible for the extravagance of his decorative style. He shared, and perhaps distanced, the meretricious triumphs of architects, Oppenard & Germain Boffrand (1667-1754) since he dealt with the Rococo in its most daring and flamboyant developments.
From this time he lived in Paris, by 1718 or 1719 being described as a "cizeleur' and a "dessinateur," living on the Ile de la Cité.
In 1724, he joined the Paris company of goldsmiths and was granted permission to designate himself "orfevre du roy (goldsmith for Louis)" from Louis XV (1710-1774).
In 1726 his appointment as designer for the king's bedchamber and cabinet (Dessinateur de la chambre et du cabinet du roi) solidified his position.
The year 1729 found Meissonnier devising a huge fireworks display for the forecourt of the Palace of Versailles to commemorate the birth of the Dauphin.
Although qualified to practice as a goldsmith, Meissonnier seems to have concentrated on providing drawings of objects designed with flowing scrolls, asymmetrical foliage and dripping water motifs, many of which were also engraved. His personal involvement with the actual execution of objects is still unknown, but he was probably commissioned to produce designs that were then made in gold or silver by another silversmith.
Meissonnier embraced the new Rococo style with enthusiasm. Taking its name in the nineteenth century from the word rocaille, originally meaning irregular forms found in nature, a characteristic of the style was to impart a sense of movement to the design of an object. This was ahieved by the use of convex and concave shapes, serpentine contours and spiral flutes