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Candlestick in the form of a reclining female figure

Painted plaster and metal

Museum number: B1

Curatorial note

This figure is painted in imitation of bronze with the left arm (from just below the shoulder) and the candleholder in metal. The metal is now painted black but where this surface has worn it appears to be brass and it may be that the candle-holder was orignally unpainted, giving the impression of a bronze figure with an ormolu fitting. One of a pair with B1. The reclining figure seems to derive from a design by Louis-Simon Boizot, a sculptor who was also Director of Sculpture at Sèvres (op. 1773-1809) named 'L'Ètude', introduced by the early 1780s in hard-paste biscuit porcelain and then reproduced in bronze in various different settings. It is not known who might have modelled the figures for these candlesticks, presumably made in England.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unknown. In Sir John Soane's collection by 1822 when, with its pair, it is shown on the mantlepiece in the Dining Room in a watercolour view by J.M. Gandy (SM P86). This view shows the pair clearly in everyday use with tapers / spills housed in adjacent small pots on the mantlepiece. The pair are placed looking inwards towards each other with the candlestick arm outward: logical to keep the burning flame away from adjacent walls or objects.

Literature

Emile Bourgeois and Georges Lechevallier-Chevignard, Le Biscuit de Sèvres, Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Musée national de céramique (France), Paris [1914], L'Étude No.283 Planche 34.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk