A very fine European Neo-Classical Chandelier, with eight candle-holders, most likely Russian or Austrian, circa 1800, with swans and laurel-leaf crowns issuing from Neo-classical ring. Minor wear to the gilding. Two of the long crystal prisms are replaced and two crystal prisms have minor chips. The remaining prisms and crystal drops are of the period, 1790-1810. The form of this Neo-Classical chandelier is drawn primarily from the styles of the notable French designers and architects, Charles Percier and Pierre François Léonard Fontaine. Their partnership was largely responsible for the rich, grand, and immoderately conscious archaeological versions of the Neo-classical style we now classify as the Directoire (1795-1799) and Empire styles (1800-1840) that permeated all of Europe, and later America, after the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii in the late-eighteenth century. The famed English Regency designer, Thomas Hope, adapted this chandelier‘s “prototype” in 1807. It is shown in his well-known book entitled “Household Furniture and Interior Decoration”, a wildly successful publication that was influentially dominated by the innovations of these two French designers and architects. It was Percier and Fountaine who decorated and designed most of Frances’ elitist’s chateaus and interiors during the rule of Napoleon I (1799-1814). Napoleon himself was so fond of their works that he appointed them both as his personal architects.
Thomas Hope called this chandelier, very poetically, “a crown of stars over a wreath of night-shade”.
Lighting devices surviving from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that are unsullied by time, un-electrified, and largely intact are exceeding scarce.
SOLD TO A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTOR