J. Hardy, ‘Rococo Furniture and Carving’, ed. M. Snodin, Rococo: Art and Design in Hogarth’s England [Exhibition catalogue], Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 16 May-30 September 1984, p. 155.
C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 178, fig. 319.
A large pair of George III giltwood girandoles, the tops surmounted by a garland of flowers above cartouche shaped divided plate, the frame incorporating elegant ‘C’ scrolls, acanthus leaves and urns, the lower part each with two outstretched candle arms terminating in gilt metal sconces and drip pans
This wonderfully elegant pair of girandoles, are inspired by the designs of Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), and demonstrate the enthusiastic reception that the Rococo movement received in England.
This Rococo movement or ' French Style' swept through England and introduced through many different disciplines. William Hogarth ( 1697-1764) was a prominent member of the St Martins Lane Acadamy, and was central to the introduction of the Regence and early Louis XV styles being adopted by craftsman like Chippendale, whose workshops were also at St Martins Lane.
Hogarth wrote in his 'Analysis of Beauty' in 1753 that the straight line was 'unnatural' and should be replaced by the serpentine line, to create variety and express motion.
It is clear from Chippendales designs that he shared this view and had the skill and talent to execute these designs through the wonderful commissions that he produced.
Other notable cabinet makers were Lock and Johnson who also embraced this new way of thinking and created the below pattern books.
Matthias Lock (1710-65) who produced:
'A New Book of Ornaments' (1752)
Six Sconces (1744)
Thomas Johnson (1714-78)
'Collection of Designs (1758)
'One Hundred and Fifty New Designs '(1761).
These along with Chippendale's 'Director' were instrumental in creating iconic designs that are still so in vogue today.
The present pair of Girandoles bare close resemblance to ' A Pair of George III Giltwood Girandoles' that were supplied to Sir Lawrence Dundas for his London residence, 19 Arlignton Street. These were made by the Royal Cabinet making partnership William France & John Bradburn.
Paul Desmarais Sr. (1927-2013) was the former CEO of Power Corporation of Canada, and Jacqueline (1928-2018) was a philanthropist who was recognized as one of the most important patrons of Quebec’s arts scene. Jacqueline sat on the board of directors at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and in honor of her philanthropic contributions she was named an officer of the Order of Canada, to the National Order of Quebec and to France’s Legion of Honour.