Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pair of candlesticks

Maker:
Jacques Demé (master in 1656)
Date:
1690–91
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Silver
Dimensions:
Each: H. 9-1/4 in. (23.5 cm.); L. 5 1/8 in. (13.0 cm.)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Accession Number:
48.187.249, .250
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 522
These two candlesticks are particularly fine examples of French silver from the close of Louis XIV's reign. Their decorative vocabulary of interlaced strapwork, foliage, and heads in profile is typical of that found throughout French decorative arts of the late seventeenth century, as is the architectural quality of the design. The various motifs call to mind the works of the court designer Jean Bérain (1640–1711), whose many prints and drawings influenced the production of ceramics, furniture, wall paneling, and silver well into the eighteenth century.
The candlesticks bear the mark of the silversmith known only by the initials I. D., and the Paris warden's mark of 1690–92. This latter mark indicates that the silver content of the candlesticks met the strict guidelines imposed by the guild. Silver in its pure state is too soft to withstand daily use, so small amounts of copper were added for durability. In the late seventeenth century, the Paris standard required that 958.33 parts out of a thousand be pure silver.
Inscription: (engraved plaque attached to underside of foot rim of .250) A MONSIEUR/ALPHONSE PARRAN/TÉMOIGNAGE D'ESTIME ET D'AFFECTION/DES CONSEILS D'ADMINISTRATION/DES COMPAGNIES DE MOKTA-EL-HADID/ET DE KRIVOI ROG/JANVIER 1898

Marking: [1] Crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, I D, device a lily (?) (maker's mark);
[2] A surmounted by fleur-de-lis and flanked by reverse scrolls (Paris charge mark, 1687–91);
[3] Crowned X (Paris warden's mark, 1690–92);
[4] Crown (Paris discharge mark for work made in more than one piece, 1687–91);
[5] Two C's interlaced (Paris countermark for small pieces, 1691–96);
[6] unidentified
[7] Boar's head (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1838–79);

Location of marks:
[1]-[3] underneath each base;
[1] inside nozzle of .250;
[4]-[7] on outside of each foot rim;
[7] on rim of socket of .249
Catherine D. Wentworth (until 1948; bequeathed to MMA)
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