Spectacular pair of Empire candelabra with winged Victories by Thomire and Rabiat
Pair of Empire Period Candelabra With Winged Victories by Thomire & Rabiat
This pair of French Empire candelabra was designed by Pierre-Philippe Thomire and executed and signed by Claude François Rabiat. They each have three lights, carried by winged Victories. These winged female figures were very characteristic of the Empire period. Their clothes seem to be moving by the wind, which conveys the suggestion of movement. This was a recurring theme in the decorations of the period.
Top bronzier Pierre Philippe Thomire used these winged Victories in the design of this pair of candelabra with three sconces in gilt and patinated bronze. Each of these Victories holds in her raised arms a basket of flowers simulating bobeches. Also, on top of their heads, a cornet-shaped vase filled with flowers accommodates the third bobeche. They stand with their feet semi-raised on a sphere supported by a decorated column. Finally, the whole rests on a double square base.
This pair of candelabra caries the signature of Claude François Rabiat on each of the interior rails of the plinth (see last photo). Claude François Rabiat (1756-1815) was a foundry-chaser who received master in 1778. He was very famous and worked mostly with top bronziers like Thomire, Feuchère and Galle.
An identical pair of candelabra was delivered to the Garde-Meuble by “Thomire Duterme”. It was destined for the living room of the apartment of the Count of Nantouillet at the Elysée Palace.
This pair of candelabra is in exceptional condition.
Details of this pair of French Empire candelabra
Dimensions: 54 cm high, 25 cm wide.
Size of the base: 11 x 11 cm.
Weight: 7.5 kg (for the pair).
- An identical pair is in the Elysée Palace (inventory Mobilier National GML-2884-002)
- Marie-France Dupuy-Baylet, “l’Heure, le feu, la lumière, les bronzes du mobilier national 1800-1870”, éd. Faton, 2010, p.262.
- Sotheby’s New York, 25 October 2002, where an identical pair appeared in auction.
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