Origin: Probably English/ Possibly Italian Period: Early Nineteenth Century Provenance: Unknown Date: c.1815-25 Height: 38 inches Base Diameter: 11 inches (at maximum)
The giltwood and gesso torchère with a circular dish top over a stiff leafed column, fronted by a lion salient on a rocky outcrop formed base survives from the Regency period.
The torchère is in fair to good overall order, it has suffered damage to its base with some loss to the mouldings to one side and the lions tail is partly lacking but overall it remains in fairly good decorative condition, pleasing in not having been re-gilded or restored in any way. There are small chips and abrasion marks to the gilding in all areas giving the piece its appealing decorative feel. The top is able to come off as it is threaded to the column.
When it was first introduced in France towards the end of the 17th century the torchiere mounted one candle only, and when the number was doubled or tripled the improvement was regarded almost as a revolution in the illumination of large rooms.
This example is unusual for an English torchere in that is it relatively ornate. The lion depicted is a typically English subject for this period but the other components of the piece are more continental in feel, largely Italianate, but the Italians did not generally use lions in their carvings instead favouring mythical beasts or putti for instance. We therefore feel the piece is English but cannot be certain, and we cannot find another example like it.
Thus, this is a very decorative, finely made and unusual example of a torchère of which we cannot find another alike having been sold.