Candelabrum (one of a pair), Robert Joseph Auguste (French, 1723–1805, master 1757), Silver, French, Paris

Candelabrum (one of a pair)

Robert Joseph Auguste (French, 1723–1805, master 1757)
French, Paris
Overall: 14 3/4 in., 80.527oz. (37.5 cm, 2282.9g)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Accession Number:
48.187.389a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 553
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 (see also 48.187.390a, b) 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.
Signature: Engraved on foot rim: Auguste F. à Paris; engraved on insetting flange of candle arms: Auguste

Inscription: Scratched under base: H2; pricked underneath base: 4 : 8 : 48 : 3A; pricked on insetting flange: [1] H2; [2] 5 & 543o

Marking: [1] Crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, R J A, a palm branch (maker's mark of Robert Joseph Auguste)
[2] Crossed laurel branches (Paris charge mark for gold and small silver, 1762–68)
[3] Crowned D (Paris warden's mark, 1767–68)
[4] Little cow (Paris discharge mark for work intended for export, 1765–74?)

Location of marks:
[1]-[3] inside socket, insetting flange of candle arm, and foot rim of each
[4] on outside of insetting flange of candle arm and of foot rim of each
Catherine D. Wentworth (until 1948; to MMA)