Rare Cornelius & Co 3 Piece Girandole Suite
This is an extremely rare 19th century early lighting three piece Girandole Suite. This set of mantel garniture consists of a three branch Daniel Boone or Leather-Stocking model with a flanking single socket Colonial Officer Model and a single socket Colonial Lady model. Made and signed, on all three pieces, by the famous lighting firm of Cornelius & Co of Philadelphia and patent dated (1843-1848) it’s hard to decipher. Breathtaking suite in 100% magnificent gilt brass. I found this sophisticated and rare girandole suite in the book – Nineteenth Century Lighting - Candle-powered Devices: 1783-1883 by H. Parrott Bacot on pages 174-176. There are numerous photographs of this same girandole along with a detailed description. I don’t know where to begin? So I’ll just dive in – “As of this writing researchers are hampered by there being no know surviving copy of and catalogue from the Cornelius firm dating earlier than circa 1876. What the company under its various corporate names called some models is unknown…the central fixture of this garniture features a seated male figure in buckskins in the company of a seated and standing Indian. A similar three-branch model is shown as plate 111 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 1970 exhibit catalogue. The writers of the caption accompanying that illustration suggested the model name “Daniel Boone,” based on costume since Daniel Boone had achieved international celebrity through the 1823 publication of Lord Byron’s poem, “Don Juan.” James Fenimore Cooper published a series of five novels between 1823-1841, which dealt with the pioneers, and the Indians of New York State. The series became known as the Leather-Stocking Tales because the leather leg coverings worn by Natty Bumppo the hero of the novels”. Natty was also refereed to by his Indian name which was Hawkeye. The series consisted of The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans and The Pathfinder. “Logically the flanking figures which usually accompany a central girandole with this theme would be a pair of colonial officers or the colonial officer and his lady.” As I previously mentioned this suite has the colonial officer and his lady flanking the central girandole which are mounted onto their original marble base. This garniture appears always to have been together because every thing matches. The matte lemon-gold finish with bright highlights is original and in excellent condition. The basically cylindrical candle cups with palmette bordered bobeches and the prism rings composed of a floral band with lovebird finials all typify the best of Cornelius firm’s work. The colonial officer and lady measure 16 5/8” at highest x 5 ¾”w x 3 ¼” deep. The central three branch girandole is 17 5/8” at highest x 18” at widest x 4” deep. This rare suite has never been polished and I can’t emphasize enough its pristine condition! This is a rare opportunity to acquire rare early American lighting that ties together American history and literature in a very elegant sophisticated way!
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Blue Dolphin Antiques
164 Atlantic Highway
Northport Maine 04849 # 207 338 3860
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