Extremely Large Rare Pair of Gilt Bronze Empire Candlesticks

Extremely Large Rare Pair of Gilt Bronze Empire Candlesticks Attributed To Gérard-Jean Galle

Superb pair of unusually large 36 cm Empire candlesticks in mat and shiny gilt bronze. This pair of large, palace sized, Empire candlesticks has many rich decorations of griffins, rosettes and palmettes, all of them magnificently carved.  The quality of the carving of this exceptional pair of French candlesticks shows you it is the work of a great bronze master. They are attributed to Gérard-Jean Galle, son of top bronzier Claude Galle.

The bobeches have a refined decoration. And below them we see an intricate pattern of flowers and leaves. The top part rests on a basket filled with fruit, flowers and leaves, while the basket itself consists of a finely carved wicker work.  The stem of these candlesticks have decorations of griffins spiraling up to the top. Down on the base we see decorations of  flowers and griffins.

Everything about these remarkable candlesticks radiates an impression of greatness, not only the quality of workmanship but also the bigger than usual dimensions.

Details of this pair of Empire candlesticks

Dimensions: height: 36 cm. Diameter of the base: 15 cm.
Weight: 2.5 kg (for the pair).

Gérard-Jean Galle (1788-1846)

Gérard-Jean Galle, who was the eldest son of the renowned bronzier, Claude Galle (1759-1815), took over the family business at rue Vivienne on his father’s death.  Soon he proved that he could maintain its excellent repute. Regarded as one of the best in Paris, he was patronised by an elite clientele. His clientele included the duc de Richelieu, the marquis de Martel and viscount de la Rochefoucauld. Gérard-Jean and his younger brother, Jean-Auguste, trained under their father but then joined the army after completing their apprenticeship. Gérard proved a brilliant soldier and he received a knighthood in 1815. In 1810 Claude Galle requested from the Emperor his sons’ leave of the army so that they could run the family business.

In 1815 Napoleon lost his power and Claude Galle died, leaving Gérard’s stepmother in temporary charge. Soon after this Gérard-Jean returned home and took over the family business. Later, in 1819 Gérard won a silver medal at the Exposition de l’Industrie for an outstanding collection of bronzes consisting predominantly of light fittings and clock cases. The latter he supplied to some of the best Parisian clock makers including Bourdier.

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