Russian Metal Artworks

Paired candlesticks for one candle: "Fish vendor", "Ice cream vendor" (from the large writing set).

    Paired candlesticks for one candle: "Fish vendor", "Ice cream vendor" (from the large writing set).

    Russian Empire

    Model: 1875; casting: late 1870s

    Lanceray, Eugene, Chopin Felix factory

    Bronze, ornamental stone; casting, chasing, gilding, mounting

    Height 19.5 cm, diameter 7.2 cm (each)

    Signature on each bottom “ЛАНСЕРЕ”


    Paired candlesticks for one candle from gilded bronze. Both are made in the shape of Saint Petersburg vendor figurines mounted round base, holding a tub (kadushka) in the raised hands, which serves as a candle cups (bobeche). One is featuring the figure of an elderly fish vendor with long beard and moustache, with pudding-basin haircut, in long-brimmed outerwear and traditional hat. The tail of a large fish hangs down from the tub. The stem of the other candlestick is made in the form of a young vendor of the shaved ice in belted shirt and trousers tucked into his boots, a piece of fabric is sticking out of his tub. These candlesticks were a part of the writing set made in the middle of the 1870s. Its theme reflected the general orientation of Russian art of that time, namely, the interest in folk life. The set was comprised from thirty independent figurines, which were matchboxes, ashtrays, candlesticks, bells, paperweight, etc.
    The tradition of depicting “The Russian types” emerged in 1817 by the publication of the famous book "Magic Lantern, or A Spectacle of St. Petersburg’s Travelling Sellers, Masters, and Other Folk Craftsmen, Depicted with a True Brush in Their Real Clothes and Presented Conversing with One Another, Commensurate With Each Person and Title (rank)”. The set that was repeatedly cast at the Felix Chopin factory, did not survived of one piece to our days. Some items are stored in the State Historical Museum (Moscow) and the State Russian Museum (Saint- Petersburg). For details see: L.N. Goncharova. Russian artistic bronze of the 19th century M., 2001.p. 67-68, 112.