Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Candlestick - Flambeaux à pieds carrés
  • Flambeaux à pieds carrés
    Sèvres porcelain factory
  • Enlarge image

Flambeaux à pieds carrés

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    c.1774-c.1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt, mounted in gilt bronze

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA12

The most important French porcelain factory was founded in about 1740 in the royal château of Vincennes, with workmen lured from the nearby factory at Chantilly. By 1756 Vincennes had outgrown its workshops in the old château and the factory transferred to specially constructed premises at Sèvres. The Royal Manufactory specialised in exceptionally luxurious objects, many destined for the French court. Capable of startling innovation, the factory produced a constantly evolving repertoire to suit the changing tastes of its clients. Sèvres porcelain was admired and collected by the royal, noble and wealthy elite throughout Europe, and was also widely imitated.

Not many candlesticks in Sèvres porcelain have survived and these are consequently rare objects, made at the most prestigious French porcelain factory, owned by the king. They have been modelled as miniature barley-sugar twist columns and decorated in a light and feminine style with spiralling garlands of flowers. Similar items appear in contemporary paintings and prints showing wealthy noblewomen in their boudoirs. It is easy to imagine these candlesticks, sitting on the dressing table of one such lady, flanking a mirror and matching an array of porcelain pots containing different types of make-up. Candlesticks called bougoirs de toilette appear in the Sèvres factory records in 1774 and may denote candlesticks of this shape. For a blue ground pair see 798 & A-1882, and another decorated with turquoise ground ribbons and colourful flowers is in the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor (National Trust).

Physical description

Candlestick made from soft-paste porcelain, 'flambeaux à pieds carrés', with a barley sugar twist column form and square foot. The polychrome floral swag painted enamel decoration follows the form of the barley sugar twist. The square base is painted in blue with gilded detailing. There are tooled gilt-bronze mounts to the rim, the base of the column, and the base of the candlestick, attached with a four-petalled flower nut at the base. The candlestick and its pair have breaks, possibly technical faults, at each side along the length of the barley sugar twists.

Place of Origin

France (made)


c.1774-c.1775 (made)


Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt, mounted in gilt bronze


Height: 140 mm, Width: 70 mm

Object history note

John Jones Bequest, Catalogue number 155.

Descriptive line

Candlestick with a barley sugar twist column and square foot, made from porcelain painted with floral decoration in enamels, with gilt-bronze mounts, Sèvres porcelain factory, France, about 1774-1775.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

William King, Catalogue of the Jones Collection, II, Ceramics, ormolu, goldsmiths' work, enamels, sculpture, tapestry, books, and prints (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924), p. 21, no. 155.
Svend Eriksen and Anthony Blunt, Sèvres Porcelain: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor (Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1968), catalogue 102, p. 282.


Soft paste porcelain; Gilt bronze


Painted; Glazed; Gilt; Mounted

Subjects depicted

Swags; Flowers


Ceramics; Porcelain; Lighting; Household objects; Metalwork


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.