A. Lacarriere, Delatour et Cie
Pair of Neo-Greek Floor Lamps
Total Height : 188,5 cm (74,2 in.) ; Base : 45 x 45 cm (17,7 x 17,7 in.)
Pedestal height : 136 cm (53,5 in.)
Lamp height : 52 cm (20,4 in.)
Beautiful pair of neo-Greek floor lamps in bronze with double patina, composed of lamps in the shape of an antique vase, decorated on the body with a rotating frieze representing a circle of dancing nymphs. They rest on pedestals with a circular top in Griotte marble enhanced with palmettes, from which hang thin chains attached to the slender shaft decorated with stylized leaves and resting on a tripod base decorated with the heads of Bacchus alternating with large palmettes and ending in lion’s paws.
The stylistic repertoire used here, composed in particular of palmettes, masks, and nymphs, evokes Greek Antiquity, as does the reuse of forms of furniture and objects such as tripods and antique vases.
The rediscovery in the 18th century of the archaeological remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum allowed artists of all disciplines to draw inspiration from Antiquity while reinterpreting it.
This trend did not fade and, in the 19th century, many personalities fitted out their interiors with neo-Greek furniture, as was the case for the Maison Pompéienne built in 1856 by the architect Alfred Normand (1822-1909) for Prince Napoleon, or Empress Eugénie who bought from the Maison Barbedienne pedestals inspired by antique tripods.
Pedestal model presented by Maison Barbedienne at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1855. On this occasion, Empress Eugénie bought it for her bathroom in the Château de Saint-Cloud. This model pleased the Empress so much that she ordered two other pairs in 1858 for her boudoir in the palaces of Compiègne and Fontainebleau.
Watercolour showing the Empress’ toilet at Saint-Cloud Castle, by Fortuné de Fournier, 1860, Compiègne Palace
It was at 3 bis rue Ste-Elisabeth that Lacarrière, a simple craftsman opened a workshop that was soon to specialise and to excell in the production of bronze lighting equipment. From 1834 to 1844 he was awarded several prizes. Lacarrière, Delatour & Cie after 1870 cast and carved the great majority of the lamps, candelabras and chandeliers of the Paris Opera Garnier, among which the chandelier in the concert hall, designed by Garnier himself and modeled by Corboz. At the 1878 Universal Exhibition, there was a special note in the catalogue declaring that : « their exhibition proves their craft to be very pure and precise, their taste very sure in bronzes used for interior lighting. » Lacarrière, Delatour & Cie participated in the creation of the chandelier at the Queen’s Theatre in London. They also produced fourteen monumental candelabras for the Paris Alexandre III Bridge, which was an amazing feat at the time considering some of the pieces weighed up to 1470 pounds, and measured 14 ft. 9 in. with a diametre of 15 ft. 5 in.
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