Chasing Method

The chiselling serves to better specify the contours and to start the details using small chisels called irons. The shapes of the chisel irons depend on the use that Craftsman wants to make of them: There are smooth irons with a roundish head, others more pointed, those with small stars with stars or small circles etc. The art of chiselling is noble and ancient, already practited by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Our Renaissance finds among its protagonists Cellini, Botticelli, Donatello etc.

The model for these wall-lights, known as à tète de bélier, is most commonly associated with the Parisian decorative designer, engraver and architect Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734-89). Pierre Verlet notes that the inventory of the prince de Condé at Palais Bourbon in 1779 includes a pair of wall-lights à tète de bélier with two candle branches that were delivered to him in 1771 by the marchand-mercler Quentin-Claude Pitoin.

The same marchand-mercler delivered two other similar pairs in 1775 ti Versailles; one was for the chambre de la comtesse de Provence and the other for the chamber de la comtesse d'Artois.

Another very similar pair of two-branched wall-lights but with a slightly different surmounting urn and additional swags hanging from the two branches was included in the Rothschild Collection, sold in London 23rd June 1999, lot 122. Further examples, again with two-lights can be found in the Residenz, Munich while others with three-lights were sold at Rudolph Lepke Berlin, 2nd April 1930 and can also be found in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.