A pair of large Vestal Virgins candelabra
A pair of large Empire gilt and patinated bronze and rouge griotte marble
five-light candelabra in the form of Vestal Virgins – circa 1804
Height: 101 cm. (39 ¾ in.) Width: 36.5 cm. (14 ¼ in.) Depth: 22 cm. (8 ¾ in.)
Width and depth of base: 17.5 cm (7 in.)
Maurice Sègoura, Paris, 1998
This type of standing candelabra was almost certainly commercialized by the marchand-mercier, Martin-Eloy Lignereux (1751-1809) as the Earl of Elgin acquired from him in 1803 a closely-related pair on identical bases for Broomhall House, Fife (sold later in the Broomhall sale, Christie’s London, 31 May 1962, lot 79).
Other examples of the model acquired by Elgin include:
- A single one in the collection of Humphrey Whitbread, sold Christie’s London, 5 April 2001, lot 401, and later with Jeremy, London
- A pair in the collection of Lily and Edmund J. Safra, sold Sotheby’s New York, 18-21 October 2011, lot 741
The exceptionally delicate treatment of the neoclassical gilt bronze candle-arms is characteristic of the finest Parisian production at the beginning of the Empire period.