A gilded and engraved champlevé copper portable... - Lot 9 - Pierre Bergé & Associés

Lot 9
Go to lot
Estimation :
35000 - 45000 EUR
A gilded and engraved champlevé copper portable... - Lot 9 - Pierre Bergé & Associés
A gilded and engraved champlevé copper portable candlestick, enamelled in blue, red and turquoise. Truncated pyramidal base with six slightly curved sides resting on rounded redents; decoration of the faces alternating armorial bearings, accompanied by two stems with pointed leaves in the lower angles, and hybrid creatures playing a musical instrument under a tri-lobed arch. Escutcheons: Azure semé de fleurs de lys Or, arms of France; Quarterly 1 and 4 Or a lion Azure between two bezants in orle, 2 and 3 Gules two fess Or, arms evoking the family of Jacques Duèse, elected pope under the name of John XXII in 1316, Or an eagle Azure membered Gules, not identified. Hybrid creatures: animal with lion body and monkey head playing the bagpipe, animal with lion body and human head playing the tambourine, animal with lion body and human head playing the psaltery. Large hollow point in truncated cone at the base surrounded by a serrated collar. Limoges, circa 1310 Height: 29 cm - Width: 12,5 cm (point of the spike incomplete with small crack, small dent, slight lack of enamels) Provenance: - former collection Emile Molinier (1857-1906), Paris - former collection Simon Seligmann, Paris - sale Sotheby's, New York, January 29, 1999, lot 38 Works consulted: J.B de Vaivre, 'Un chandelier du début du XIVe siècle portant les armes de Jacques Duèse' in Bulletin de la Société des Antiquaires de France, T 401, 1983, p 70-82; Exposition Limoges 1992, Trésors d'émail - Catalogue des acquisitions 1977-1992, Musée municipal de l'Evêché, cat. 9 and 10; E. Nekrasova, The Azure and Gold of Limoges - Twelfth to fourteenth century enamels, Saint Petersburg, 2009, cat. 58; A. C. Dumargne, Les chandeliers et pique-cierges portatifs à décor émaillés de Limoges des XIIIe-XIVe siècles, Cahiers LandArt N° 18, December 2016. At the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, the workshops of Limousin enamellers produced so-called portable, travelling or itinerant candlesticks, intended to accompany the lay or religious traveller on his journeys. Among the different types, there were the interlocking models like this one with a hollow stem. Of decreasing dimensions, they could be nested one inside the other from the smallest to the largest. This example from the former Molinier collection, which is large, must have been the largest of the series, which could have numbered up to six, like the set in the Louvre Museum (inv. 2660 to 2665). Among the pyramid-based nesting pikes listed by Anne-Clothilde Dumargne, it is second in size only to one of a series of three in the Hermitage. The armorial shields on the base of these Limousin pikemen seem to have a mainly decorative value. The most common one, Azure semé de fleurs de lys d'or, corresponds to the fleurdelisé coat of arms adopted by the royalty around 1211. Also quite common is that Quarterly 1 and 4 Or with a lion of azure accompanied by bezants in orle, 2 and 3 Gules with two fesses of Or identified by Jean-Bernard de Vaivre as corresponding to the arms of Jacques Duèse, who became Pope John XXII in 1316. The shield on a copy in the Germanisches Museum in Nuremberg shows a very similar interpretation (inv. HG3499, fig. a). The third one, gold with an eagle azure membered gules, is very close to the shield on two candlesticks in the Musée de l'Évêché de Limoges, gold with an eagle sable beaked and membered gules, attributed by Geneviève François to the German Empire or to Jean d'Acre, grand bouteiller de France (†1296) (inv. 464, fig. b). It thus seems that we must be moving towards an approximate interpretation on the part of the Limoges enamellers of the motifs supplied to them, a groping corresponding to the gradual emergence of heraldry in the decorative arts as well as to the limited colour palette of production at that time. The large, fanciful, music-playing creatures that adorn the sides, alternating with the shields, seem unique. They bear picturesque witness to the medieval imagination in the same way as the "bestelettes" that furnish the margins of manuscripts. Their presence pleads in favour of a domestic use of this luminary commissioned by a member of the aristocracy. The excellent state of preservation of this candlestick, which belonged to Emile Molinier, former curator at the Louvre, is noteworthy.
My orders
Sale information
Sales conditions
Return to catalogue