The parrots on pierced rockwork bases are of Chinese porcelain from the K'ang Hsi period (1662–1722), mounted as wall lights in Paris in the mid-eighteenth century. They are a standard export model of which a number of examples are known. Similar pairs of parrots were mounted in Paris at various periods as candelabra: a pair mounted about 1720 as two-branch candelabra is in the Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection at the Metropolitan Museum (see 1975.58.1, .2); a pair mounted about 1750 as three-branch candelabra with soft-paste flowers is in the Historisches Museum, Basel; a pair mounted about 1770–80 as two-branch candelabra is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris; and another pair mounted in the nineteenth century as two-branch candelabra is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
On the wall light with the parrot facing right, five of the flowers are of soft-paste porcelain made about 1750 at Vincennes, and eleven are of nineteenth-century hard-paste porcelain; on the wall light with the parrot facing left, six flowers are original; and ten are hard-paste replacements.
[Bill Rieder, 1984]
Footnotes:  D. F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinesisches und japanisches Porzellan in europäischen Fassungen, Brunswick, 1980, pl. XII.
 Musée Nissim de Camondo (coll. cat.), Paris, 1973, p. 52, no. 219.
 Lunsingh Scheurleer, p. 474, fig. 565.
Baroness Renée de Becker ; Jack and Belle Linsky (until 1982; to MMA)