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Work Candlestick

Department of Decorative Arts: 17th century

Flambeau à deux bobèches

Decorative Arts
17th century

Author(s):
Barbier Muriel

This candlestick, a fine example of the Parisian goldsmith's art in the first half of the 17th century, is one of the few known works by François Roberday the elder, goldsmith to the Duke of Orleans. The work was evidently based on the engravings of metalwork designs that goldsmiths used as models. The openwork motifs are typical of the "cosse de pois," or peapod, style, which was then fashionable among goldsmiths working for the Crown.

A candlestick dating from the first half of the 17th century

The candlestick has a circular base, made from a sheet of pierced silver, that forms a double openwork rosette of peapod-style ornaments. The central stalk rises from a crown of leaves and is divided into several branches. It terminates in a small handle shaped like a cluster of flowers. On either side are lateral branches that pass through open peapods. Both branches are topped by a candle-ring in the shape of a corolla and a hexagonal candleholder with six petals. Slender tendrils decorated with peapods and peas entwine the main branches. The abundance of leaves and tendrils make this work a typical example of the Parisian goldsmith's art in the first half of the 17th century.

A work by François Roberday the elder

François Roberday the elder was goldsmith to the Duke of Orleans and also made pieces for the collections of Cardinal Mazarin and the king. He produced these in a workshop within the Palais des Tuileries. Roberday enjoyed great success during his lifetime. That his reputation was amply justified is shown by the quality craftsmanship of this candlestick, which is particularly evident in the subtle play of light between the dull shine of the foot and the bright polish of the candle-rings and candleholders.

The peapod style

During the first half of the 17th century, from about 1625 to 1635, engravers such as Balthazar Moncornet, François Langlois, Laurent Légaré, and Isaac Briot produced series of ornamental designs for the use of goldsmiths. Their engravings helped to promote the popularity of a style-possibly influenced by the Moorish fashion of the previous century-that featured a profusion of cut-out or openwork leaves, peas, peapods, slender corkscrew tendrils, and flowers. Roberday's candlestick is typical of the peapod style inspired by such engravings. The style was further advanced by the work of goldsmiths such as Pierre Delabarre, based in the Louvre galleries, but Roberday seems to have been the only leading artist to have produced peapod-style objets d'art in silver.

Bibliography

Bimbenet-Privat M., Les orfèvres et l'orfèvrerie de Paris au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 2002, t. II, p.50-51.
Exposition Un Temps d'exubérance, les arts décoratifs sous Louis XIII et Anne d'Autriche, Paris, Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2002, p. 259-260.
Exposition Nouvelles Acquisitions du département des Objets d'art, 1990-1994, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1995, p.116-117.

Technical description

  • François Ier ROBERDAY (Maître orfèvre à Paris en 1621 - mort en 1651)

    Flambeau à deux bobèches

    Vers 1630

    Paris

  • Argent

    H. : 14 cm. ; l. : 17 cm. ; Pr. : 9,50 cm.

  • Don de M. Pierre Jourdan-Barry, en souvenir de ses parents Raymond et Mireille Jourdan-Barry, 1993 , 1993

    Candlestick with two candle-rings

    OA 11373

  • Decorative Arts

    Richelieu wing
    1st floor
    Henri IV
    Room 31

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Additional information about the work

Master's hallmark: initials FR (François Roberday) on either side of a rock; town hallmark: crowned letter, illegible in part