Pair of Candelabra

Two white porcelain candelabra with ornate gilt bronze decoration

Pair of Candelabra
One vase, Meissen factory, ca. 1720; the other, a later replacement
Gilt bronze by Pierre Gouthière after a design by François-Joseph Bélanger, 1782
Hard-paste porcelain, gilt bronze and marble
17⅛ × 6⅞ × 6⅞ in.
Gift of Sidney R. Knafel, 2016

Trustee Sidney R. Knafel has given the New York museum an extraordinary pair of candelabra by Pierre Gouthière, the great French chaser-gilder who worked in the second half of the eighteenth century for an elite clientele, including Madame Du Barry, the Duke of Aumont and the Duchess of Mazarin (the latter having commissioned from Gouthière the Frick’s iconic blue marble table with gilt-bronze mounts). The newly acquired candelabra will be presented in the Frick’s groundbreaking monographic exhibition Pierre Gouthiere: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court (November 16, 2016, through February 19, 2017).  Comments Director Ian Wardropper, “At this time last year, with the help of Sidney R. Knafel, the Frick acquired a very important sixteenth-century Saint-Porchaire ewer by the famed French ceramicist Bernard Palissy. A fascinating object, it inspired closer study and fresh scholarship of a vase from the same region purchased one-hundred years earlier by founder Henry Clay Frick. We are deeply grateful to Mr. Knafel once again for supporting the institution’s desire to amplify and enrich its remarkable holdings in the decorative arts with the gift of this remarkable pair of candelabra.” Adds Charlotte Vignon, Curator of Decorative Arts: “These stunning objects exemplify the technical and artistic excellence reached in Paris in the second half of the eighteenth century. They also have a significant lineage, as they were created for the Duke of Aumont, one of the greatest collectors of the time. They will certainly find a remarkably appropriate setting for display and study here at the Frick.”