A Large Pair of c.1880 Renaissance Revival Gilt Metal Ecclesiastical Alter Candelabra

Origin: French or Italian
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: 1870-1890
Height: 24 inches
Width: 17.5 inches

The large pair of Renaissance revival cast gilt metal church candelabra, comprising of two tiers of articulated candle arms and ten cups adorned with winged griffins, bulls, lions and angels the top holder having an image of Christ on the crucifix with St Peter? above, the wholes raised on an ornate triform reticulated base with winged cherubs heads and foliate swags on dragon feet.

Sadly there are currently two candle-holders missing from one of the candelabra, with one central angel badge missing. However because the other candelabra is complete the missing three items could matched and recast without a problem if so desired. There are rust spots and green patina in areas through the gilt which is to be expected and gives nice character. The articulation to both is working soundly, meaning the branches can be moved upward to a horizontal position. Although not perfect, decoratively they prove wonderfully ornate and fantastically gothic.

The word candelabra is a derivation of the Latin word "candelabrum" which means candlestick. A Menorah, a specific seven-branched candelabrum is one of the oldest symbols of Jewish faith. Although it is understood candelabra were used during the Middles Ages (400 –1400 AD), artefacts and records from the 1600’s provide examples of candlesticks and candelabra. In the 1800’s, silver candelabra became de rigueur at the evening dinner table, providing both illumination and decoration for the substantial, end of day meal. The demise of the candelabra, along with candlesticks, came with the invention of the light bulb in the 1870’s. This particular pair, made shortly after that time, were designed for a church and therefore electricity was not available or appropriate for their alter setting.

Gloria Mundi.