8044

THE HAREWOOD HOUSE TORCHÈRES, PAIR OF CARVED FAUX BRONZE AND FAUX PORPHYRY TORCHÈRES

English. Circa 1815.

Measurements

Height: 61 1/2" (156 1/4 cm)
Width: 19 1/2" (49 1/2 cm)

Research
Of limewood with mostly original green-painted and faux porphyry decoration. Each surmounted by a circular gadrooned top above a shaped stem with reeded central section and anthemion decoration raised on four winged female figures and a pylon shaped faux porphyry base decorated to each side with a wreath and crossed poles with acorn finials, the whole raised on four bold paw feet and a square faux porphyry plinth with canted corners. Minor restoration to sphinxes and bases.

Published:
M. Journadin, “Regency Lighting Fittings,” Country Life Magazine, No. 2430, August 13, 1943, p. 293.
Inspired by Antiquity: Classical Influences on 18th and 19th Century Furniture and Works of Art. Carlton Hobbs LLC, 2011.

Provenance:
Harewood House, Yorkshire.
Christie’s House Sale on the premises of Harewood House, 3 October 1988.

The design of this pair of torchères, composed of an inventive synthesis of diverse classical elements, is strongly characteristic of the English Regency style. The form derives from the ancient Roman lamp-stand, or candelabrum, and combines elements from both bronze and marble examples of these lighting devices. Although the shapes varied, the basic elements of a candelabrum were predominantly the same, consisting of a base, a shaft and a top support. Early bronze versions usually included a base in the form of three animal feet; a shaft, slender and often fluted; and a top support, usually consisting of a socket for holding a candle or a plinth on which to place a lamp (figure 1a). Marble candelabra were formed of the same components, but were much more substantial and elaborate in decoration (figure 1b).

The present torchères can be attributed to the celebrated furniture-designer and cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale the Younger, who was engaged at Harewood House, the great Yorkshire mansion built between 1759 and 1771 by a combination of the architects John Carr and Robert Adam. The Younger’s commission followed the succession of Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood in 1812, when a number of schemes of redecoration were undertaken. His father, Thomas Chippendale the Elder, had been employed at Harewood beginning in the late 1760s in one of his largest commissions, and Chippendale the Younger may have designed some of the pieces produced by his father’s firm.1

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.