A 19thC Carved & Polychrome Painted Venetian Blackamoor Wall Torchère

Origin: Italian, Venetian
Period: Mid/Late 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
Height: 34.5”
Depth: 5”
Width: 8.25” (all at extremities)

The polychrome painted wooden torchère figure of a blackamoor, showing traces of the original gilding, modelled in standing pose with a turban and one arm aloft holding a spiral torch issuing fruit and flowers with orifice for a light fitting and standing on a rocky outcrop, being flat backed for wall mounting, and surviving from mid-nineteenth century Venice.

Probably once one of a pair, the overall condition would be described as good, the whole in very original order with some light chipping to the extremities as photographed. There are drilled holes for electrical wiring to be added if so desired.

Blackamoor is an art form that depicts highly decorative, exotic non-white figures, often bejewelled black African men. These figures, usually painted with gold leaf, appeared in homewares, with statues guarding doors in lieu of real servants, or men in eye-watering contortions proffering trays to be used as tables. They also appear in jewellery design, and were particularly popular in the workshops of Venice.

Harder to find as a wall mounted fitting, this attractive fixture works just as well with candlelight.