Marked by Robert–Joseph Auguste (French, 1723?1805)
Silver; Each H. 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948 (48.187.389ab,.390ab)
Robert-Joseph Auguste was one of the leading Parisian silversmiths working in the Neoclassical style in the latter half of the eighteenth century. In 1778, he received the title of Silversmith to the King, and in 1784 was granted lodgings in the Louvre, a privilege bestowed upon only the most favored craftsmen. He gained an international clientele, providing silver to the courts of Portugal, Denmark, Russia, Sweden, and England.
These candelabra date to an early point in Auguste's career, and they reflect a robust and architectural Neoclassicism in their style. The Neoclassicism of the last two decades of the eighteenth century was often characterized by a highly refined and restrained elegance, with spare decoration. The emerging Neoclassical style of the 1760s usually employed bolder and more sculptural motifs drawn from classical architecture, as can be seen in these candelabra.