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Pair Large Neoclassical Louis XVI Style Bronze Doré Vintage French Sconces

A pair of grand scale Neoclassical Louis XVI style bronze dore vintage sconces with ram heads and portrait busts each having two candle arms from France circa 1940. The gorgeous sense of balance and symmetry seen in the overall placement of the various motifs in these sconces exemplifies the tenets of design promulgated during the reign of Louis XVI (1774-17920). At the end of the eighteenth century the excavation of ancient ruins in Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy had been spread widely across the Continent and England and had sparked a desire for a return to the classical orders of design. This new movement quickly acquired the name "neoclassicism" as it became known for its incorporation of designs taken from ancient classical civilizations. These sconces each have an elegant tapered circular shaft that extends from the top all the way to the base. The extreme top features a classically shaped urn that contains an artichoke (always a symbol of luxury because of its difficulty in cultivation and lengthy preparation before dining) while the base depicts a cluster of grapes. The entire shaft is entwined with a leafy vine that wraps from top to bottom and exhibits excellent detail on each of the individual leaves. Directly in the centre of each sconce is a beautifully modeled female face surrounded by flowing hair and crowned with a headpiece of feathers. Again, the detail achieved by the casting of the gilt bronze is quite enchanting and lifelike. Placed on either side of the female bust are the twin arms that hold the candle cups. Each of these arms also has a distinctive shape in the form of a dramatic "C" shaped scroll set at a fourty five degree angle away from the central column. To further the dramatic interest of these sconces the top of each of the arms feature a fully modeled head of a ram. The full beard on each ram as well as the spiral horns are especially vivid in this depiction and give another level of sculptural presence to the sconces. As the arms scroll away and forward from the centre a delightful shift in the profile occurs with a pair of open leaves that support a rope twist motif section of each arm that curves upward to support the circular candle cups encircled by a bobeche (the flat rim that captures any wax dripping from a burning candle). Please again look at the sharp detail that surrounds the candle cup and the upper arm. This extraordinary level of attention as well as the luxurious material give these sconces the proper gleam and lusciousness that identifies the best pieces created in homage to the splendour of Louis XVI's court.
# BG918


12.00" w x 7.00" d x 25.00" h

30.48cm w x 17.78cm d x 63.50cm h