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Fine Set of Four of Italian Ormolu Wall Lights or Appliques in the French Empire Style #3008

Fine Set of Four of Italian Ormolu Wall Lights or Appliques in the French Empire Style.

Italian - Circa 1880

These lovely wall lights are conceived as notched arrows with lion mask plaques in the centre of the shafts. The mouths of the lions, mounted on bronze backgrounds, hold gilt swags of interconnected beads, the same beads as are used as the decorative border framing the masks. Two naturalistic branches are attached to the lower part of the arrow shaft and these terminate in drip trays with floral detailing and candle nozzles or sconces with engine turning. The wall lights have been wired for electricity.

The quality of chasing and finishing on these lights is exemplary. See for example the texture of the feathers, the use of matte and polished surfaces for contrast in different areas and the vast range of different textures used throughout these pieces. The gilding is original and is typical of the finest Italian and French work of this period.

It is likely that the basic design for these pieces came from a series of wall lights first made in 1806 by Claude Galle and supplied in September of that year for use at Fontainebleu. Galle's design, illustrated in J.P. Samoyault, Muse National du Chteau de Fontainebleau, Pendules et Bronzes d'Ameublement entrs sous le Premier Empire, Paris 1989, no. 114, p. 141, features an arrow as a backplate but with a stylised anthemion rather than the feathers at the top. 

These wall lights also have central plaques with applied masks but in this case the mask is of Diana. The four candle arms are attached with lion masks to the arrow stems. Galle's design was highly successful and influential, later being supplied to the Grand Trianon in 1809. It is very likely that our lights are the result of an experienced Italian design adapting Galle's design. The result is highly successful, this new design being a little less heavy without being any less refined.


Width   8 3/4 inches - 22cm

Height  22 inches - 56cm

Depth  4 1/2 inches - 11cm

Width: 8 3/4 inches - 22cm
Height: 22 inches - 56cm
Depth: 4 1/2 inches - 11cm

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