Remarkable Pair of Empire Period Candelabra with Mercury Attributed to Claude Galle

Pair of French Empire candelabra with Mercury attributed to Claude Galle

A very refined and rare pair of French Empire candelabra with Mercury in gilded and patinated bronze, attributed to Claude Galle. They represent Mercury holding a caduceus in one hand and a bouquet of three lights in the other. Two of the lights are supported by coiled snakes. And the one in the center is embellished with a flame. Mercury is standing on a half sphere which carries decorations of Mercury staff and helmet, and also stars and horns of plenty (cornucopia). This sculpture of Mercury is inspired by the Renaissance sculpture of Mercury by Giovanni Bologna (ca. 1580). Finally, the richly decorated cylindrical base rests on a square stepped plinth.

This magnificent pair of gilt bronze French Empire candelabra has original matte and shiny gilding. The style and high quality of workmanship reflect the hand of a top bronzier like Claude Galle.

Mercury is the mythological god of commerce, messages and travelers. Because of his winged staff, winged helmet and winged sandals (caduceus, petasus and talaria) we can recognize him here. The sculpture of Mercury is very refined and lifelike.

This pair of French candelabra is in a perfect state of conservation with magnificent original gilding.

Details of this pair of Empire candelabra

France, Empire period circa 1810.

Dimensions: 53 cm high, 21 cm wide. Size of the base: 11 x 11 cm.
Weight: 4.1 kg (for the pair).

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