France, late 17th-early 18th century
Metal embossed, silver and polished gold plated
- Two plates of light by Pierre II Doublet, 1669-1670, silver, Musée du Louvre
- Two plaques of light with the coat of arms of Paul and Ursula Esterházy, mid 17th century, Augsburg, Forchtenstein Castle, Esterházy Privatstiftung
The wall lights are composed of a polylobed shape plate from where starts, in the lower part, a light arm ended by a socket and a bobeche to receive a candle. Each plate presents a decoration of acanthus leaves, natural flowers, hammered volutes. An oval beaded framework of the same motif, underlined by natural thistle leaves, flanks the central plates. The latter presents two male busts, crowned with laurel and dressed in antique style, on a profile piedouche. These figures are unowned but can be compared to those that adorn the wall of lights with the arms of Paul and Ursula Estreházy preserved at the castle of Forchtenstein in Augsburg and dated back to the middle of the 17th century. In the lower part, there is a S-shaped foliated windings branch, supporting the decorated basin and the bobeche at the end.
The plates of lights
The plates of lights were attached to the wall. They were even sometimes hung directly on the tapestries as indicated in the representation of the room of Louis XIV at the château de Fontainebleau on the tapestry of the Audience of the legate (Tenture de l’Histoire du Roi), preserved in the musée du Louvre. The light of the flame of the candle supported by the arm of light reflected and shimmered on the plates left smooth as mirrors or worked, as we can see it here. In the 18th century, with the multiplication of mirrors in interiors that allowed the light to be reflected, the plates gave way to arms of light placed on either side of the glass overmantels.
Catherine Arminjon, Quand Versailles était meublé d’argent, Exhibition catalogue, Château de Versailles, November 21, 2007 – March 9, 2008, Versailles, 2007.
Michèle Bimbenet-Privat, Les Orfèvres et l’orfèvrerie de Paris au XVIIe siècle T. I., Paris, Commission des travaux historiques de la ville de Paris, 2002, p 86-87.
Nicolas Courtin, L’art d’habiter à Paris au XVIIe siècle, Dijon, édition Faton, 2011, p. 235-236.
Good overall condition, slight signs of wear, very slight missings