Pair of candelabra
Designer / Maker
Designed and manufactured by Benjamin Vulliamy (1747–1811),or his son Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780–1854)
Ormolu and black slate
61 cm (high)
English (London), circa 1810–11
Colonel Duckett, 1821; […]; with Delomosne, 1968 (as Rundell, Bridge & Rundell); Sir James Stirling (1926–93), and by descent; with H. Blairman & Sons, 2016; Horace W. Brock
Robin Simon, ‘British art and Europe’, Apollo, June 1993, p. 360, fig. VIII
H. Blairman & Sons, Furniture and Works of Art (2016), no. 3
H. Blairman & Sons, Regency Furniture, 2020 (online catalogue), no. 7
Antique Dealers’ Fair, Grosvenor House (loan exhibition), 1993 (as Vulliamy)
National Trust for Scotland, 2000-15
Roger Smith is certain that these Piranesi-inspired candelabra are the two ‘Tall antique candelabra with little eagles 3 lights’, begun in about 1810–11 but not sold until 1821, recorded in the index for the Vulliamy Ornament Book 1809–15 (National Archives, C104/57). These are the only candelabra in the documents that mention the small eagles in the top tier of the pillar. The candle arms and nozzles are a familiar pattern on Vulliamy candelabra, as are the bases with bucrania and swags of fruit. It is possible that the buyer in 1821 was George Duckett (1777–1858) of Upper Grosvenor Street, London.
For other candelabra by Vulliamy, see John Harris, Geoffrey de Bellaigue and Oliver Millar, Buckingham Palace, 1968, p. 156 (‘Weeping Women’ and ‘Atlas’) and p. 157 (‘Tripod’). Other ‘Atlas’ candelabra include pairs at The Huntington Museum, San Marino (82.1) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (see Horace W.Brock, Martin Levy and Clifford Ackley, Splendor and Elegance, exhibition catalogue, 2009, no. 68).
In 1774, Luigi Valadier (1726–85) supplied a pair of comparably conceived porphyry and gilt-bronze candelabra for the Palazzo Borghese, Rome; these are now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1994.14.1,2).