We offer a pair of exceptional and rare gilt and patinated bronze candelabra from the atelier of Claude Galle. Their size is remarkable, as is their quality.
Each in the form of winged figures, male and female holding aloft in either hand a torch to which eight-light candelabra candle arms are attached. The figures stand on a gilded globe mounted on rouge marble plinth bases decorated with three large friezes in gilded and chiselled bronze.
Claude Galle is known as one of the most significant French bronzists during the 19th century.
Born on 1 March 1759 in Villepreux, he moved to Paris and obtained an apprenticeship with Pierre Foy, a master gilder of metals.
In 1786, Galle became a ‘master foundryman‘ and, in the same year, was awarded by the Imperial Garde Meuble to renovate their palaces. He received large contracts to make and gild bronze for the furniture of the castles of Compiègne, Fontainebleau, Versailles and Saint-Cloud.
Galle also became the official licensee of the Garde-Meuble for Bonaparte’s furniture at Saint-Cloud.
Galle supplied most of the applique, candelabras, and chandeliers to renovate the imperial palaces. He participated in the exhibition of French industrial products in 1806, where he won a medal for the excellence of his creations. Claude Galle had his most notable rise during the imperial period until he died in 1815.
Claude Galle’s artworks can be found in numerous European aristocratic residences and exhibited in the major museums of decorative arts.
A very similar but practically identical figure of candelabra is part of the English Royal Collection, shown in documents from 1817 in the Ante Room Principal Floor at Carlton House. E Included in the Pictorial Inventory of 1827-33 – RCINs 934803 and 934804.
By 1817 in the Ante Room Principal Floor at Carlton House.
Included in the Pictorial Inventory of 1827-33 – RCINs 934803 and 934804.
The inventory was originally created as a record of the clocks, vases, candelabra and other miscellaneous items from Carlton House, as well as selected items from the stores at Buckingham House, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace for consideration in the refurbishment of Windsor Castle.
Another pair of candelabra is exhibited at the Salon Marechaux, Ministry of Culture, Paris, France. See image on the right.
A pair of very similar candelabra of Marie de Balkany collection was sold in Geneva by Piguet Auction House on April 20, 2017. Please, see the attached images.
Another pair of candelabra but with Apollo and Diana supporting nearly identical candle branches dated circa 1815 made by Claude Galle for the Château de Fontainebleau are illustrated, Ottomeyer, Pröschel et al., op. cit., Munich, 1986, Vol. I, p. 390, no. 5.17.3.
One more pair of similar candelabra supported by Winged Victories by Galle are also in the Charlottenzimmer, Residenz in München.
- For a similar pair see: L’Heure Le Feu La Lumiere, Les Bronzes Du Mobililer National 1800-1870 by Marie-France Duuy-Baylet, page 55.
- A similar pair of figures of Apollo and Diana supporting nearly identical candle branches dated circa 1815 was made by Claude Galle for the Château de Fontainebleau, which is illustrated, Ottomeyer, Pröschel et al., op. cit., Munich, 1986, Vol. I, p. 390, no. 5.17.3.
- Another example is in the Würzburger Residenz, and a pair from the Demidoff Collection was sold at San Donato, Florence, 1880, lot. 940.