Pair of Candelabra
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Attributed to André-Charles Boulle
French, Paris, about 1700
Gilt bronze


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The motifs decorating these unmarked four-light candelabra--including sphinxes, ram's heads, and human heads in classical profiles--led scholars to attribute them to Louis XIV's cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle. He often attached gilt bronze mounts in the form of sphinxes and ram's heads to the furniture he made. Guild regulations commanded that cabinetmakers could only make furniture from wood, but Boulle escaped these strictures when he was awarded the title of cabinet-maker and sculptor to Louis XIV in 1672. He was then allowed the rare privilege of producing both furniture and sculpted works in gilt bronze, such as these candelabra.