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Pair Exceptionally Rare, Large and Beautiful Christophé Fratin Gilt Bronze Candelabra c. 1850

An absolutely stunning and incomparable pair of candelabra
17.5 inches high, 8 inches diameter at top across sconces and 5 inches diameter to base.

For metric please multiply by 2.5
Full Description
An exceptionally rare pair of large gilt bronze candelabra by Christophé Fratin and dating from c. 1850. In excellent original condition and with the wonderful detailing for which this sculptor is World renowned. The sconces formed from French horns blown by six monkeys and centred by a naturalistic sconce of twisting vines and leaves which rise from finely textured vine clad columns supporting numerous animals and birds including doves, pheasant heron, wild boar, wolf, deer and rabbits. The base encircled with grapes and vines.

Christophé Fratin is renowned as the greatest ‘animalier’ scultpor of the 19th Century and he exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1831 and at the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition in 1851. His important sculptures are seen in many cities around the world including the famous 'Eagles and Prey' in Central Park, New York and The Russian Emporer's Park in St Petersburg. His works are on permanent display in Museums in London including the Wallace Collection, in Germany, Vienna and in his native France including Le Louvre

Fratin was born in the town of Metz, in the North East of France, in 1801 and died in 1868. His distinctive romanticist style, textured fluid and atmospheric designs were combined superb observation, detail and humour. He depicted animals, often bears and monkeys in imaginative anthropomorphic forms, as here with the monkeys playing French horns. He had apprenticed as a young boy to his father, a taxidermist, and from this Fratin gained an in-depth understanding of the musculature and movement of many animals. His ability to capture the life like realism of an animal in the exact moment of movement is unmatched by any artist before or since.

He worked with three principal Parisian foundries of Susse Frères in the late 1830s, by Quesnel until 1847 and by Daubire until his death. His work is stamped FRATIN with the final N always reversed.

His works are highly regarded and strongly collected and it is rare to find large pieces of his work on the market. He produced relatively few castings during his lifetime and fewer still in gilt bronze.

Extremely heavy and superbly detailed, beautifully cast. The fine detailing and chasing was added by a ciseleur using punching tools and small chisels to sharpen edges and create texture and fine features – many hours of work on the cooled bronze before it was coated with ‘ormolu’ and fired to leave the pure gold outer surface which was burnished and never tarnishes.