France, Regence period, second quarter of the 18th century
Stamped with a crowned “C” indicating the period 1745-1749 when bronzes were taxed
Chased and gilt bronze
Adorned with sinuous lines, the shaft is decorated with leaves, flowers and volutes with a shell at the crest. At the bottom, there is a decoration of a bouquet of flowers and leaves.
Two asymmetrical arms of light, carved with foliage from a cartouche, support the overall. The bobeches and the nozzles are also finely chased with moving leaves.
The C crowned stamp
A decree of 1745 made it mandatory for bronze-makers to mark their works with a small distinctive letter, a C surmounted by a crown, in order to submit them to the payment of a tax. This tax applied “to all old and new works of pure copper, cast iron, bronze and other, mixed, ground, cast, flattened, engraved, gilded, silvered and coloured copper, without any exception”.
On February 4th, 1749, a decision of the Council put an end to this obligation which was probably linked to the end of the war of the Austrian Succession which financing had caused the creation of many small taxes.
The text specifies that it concerns “any old or new piece”. It is therefore possible to find the stamp on pieces prior to 1745, particularly if the object is subjected to a new layer of gilding or if it got into trade during these four years. Such is the case of certain pieces of furniture by André-Charles Boulle, from the Louis XIV period, but which success was continued.
Pierre Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, Picard, 1987.
Good overall condition, slight signs of wear due to time