A fine pair of ormolu-mounted cloisonné enamel candelabra The enamel Chinese, 18th century, the mounts French, by F.Barbedienne, circa 1870
Lot 436
A fine pair of ormolu-mounted cloisonné enamel candelabra The enamel Chinese, 18th century, the mounts French, stamped F.Barbedienne, circa 1870
Sold for £60,000 (US$ 100,849) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A fine pair of ormolu-mounted cloisonné enamel candelabra
The enamel Chinese, 18th century, the mounts French, stamped F.Barbedienne, circa 1870
The central section formed as a traditional Chinese five-lobed candlestick with domed base and deep drip-pan around a central dragon-inlaid shaft, now extended top and bottom with six candleholders issuing from a central fitting at the top, and five elephant heads forming the feet.
Overall 73cm (28¾in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892) was a French metalworker, manufacturer and well-known bronze founder, who himself is known to have created cloisonné vessels in the style of Chinese enamels. See a drawing of a large enamel vase exhibited in London in 1872 and a pair of related vases in the Khalili Collections, illustrated by H.Williams (ed.), Enamels of the World 1700-2000. The Khalili Collections, London, 2009, Cataogue no.26.

    Barbedienne is also known to have been commissioned in 1863 to transform a cover for a large cloisonné enamel censer, acquired during the sacking of the Yuanming yuan in 1860 and presented to Napoleon III, into an elaborate chandelier. The chandelier now forms the centrepiece for the Musée Chinois in the Château de Fontainbleau, France (opened in June 1863). See a black and white photograph of the Musée, taken circa 1863-70, where the transformed censer cover can be seen suspended from the ceiling, illustrated by B.Quette, Cloisonné. Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, New York, 2011, p.197, fig.10.13. For a more recent colour photograph of the chandelier, see La Musée chinois de l'impératrice Eugénie, Paris, 1994, fig.17. The museum also features a large Imperial Qianlong-period temple garniture, also acquired by the Allied forces in 1860, where the candlesticks and gu vases have been converted into candelabra, presumably also by Barbedienne, see ibid., fig.47.
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