9990 A PAIR OF REGENCY TWO-LIGHT GILT STUCCO, FAUX BRONZE AND CUT GLASS CANDELABRA BY J.D. GIANNELLI English. Circa 1809. Measurements: Height: 14 1/2″ (36.8 cm) Width: 14 1/4″ (36.2 cm) Depth: 5 1/2″ (14 cm)
Of gilt stucco faux bronze and cut glass. Each in the form of a reclining Classical figure supporting two-light scrolling candle arms adorned with prisms.
One inscribed: Published as the act direct by JD Giannelli July 24 1809
The other inscribed: Published as the act direct July 14 1809 by JD Giannelli
From a Charleston, South Carolina estate.
John Dominic Giannelli (1775-1841) was a sculptor and plaster figure manufacturer from the well-known Giannelli family of Italian sculptors who moved from Italy to England as early as 1777, where they traded as statuaries and plaster figure makers from 33 Cock Lane, Snow Hill, London. John Dominic (also called Giovanni Domenico) studied at the Copenhagen Academy winning gold and silver medals between 1797 and 1799. In 1801 he applied for a permit to go to England where he exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1809 and 1814.
There was a great fashion for plaster sculpture in Britain from about 1760 to 1825, and a large number of plaster shops existed. Sculptors modeled for these businesses, or the proprietors, highly competent modelers themselves, would provide three dimensional models which would then be used to create these sculptures. Some of these businesses plagiarized others companies’ designs until an Act was passed in 1798 to provide a copyright. The inscription on the present sculptures refers to this Act, which dictated that all subsequent works be signed and dated.
A serpent, attribute of Athena, goddess of wisdom, law and justice, rests its head on the arm of one of the reclining figures of the present candelabra.