A pair of ormolu-mounted, white marble and porphyry candelabra sold at Tennants for £68,000.

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They stand 4ft 8in (1.41m) high, with the associated pair of 19th century white and variegated marble pedestals an additional 3ft 6in (1.04m).

Both signed Joan FR Lorta, Sculp, 1788, the figures of summer and autumn are associated with the court sculptor Jean-François Lorta (1752-1837) and derived from a set of four candelabra emblematic of the seasons he supplied to Adelaïde and Victoire, daughters of Louis XV, for the château de Bellevue, to the south west of Paris.

They remained there until 1807, when Empress Josephine had them moved to the Tuileries in central Paris and by 1830 the group was split up. Reunited in the 20th century, they are now in the Louvre.


The signature of Jean-François Lorta to the pair of candelabra sold at Tennants for £68,000.

Lorta continued to work under the Empire and during the Restoration and several copies are known, including a matched set of four sold by Christie’s in April 2018 for £200,000. Tennants’ pair – both candelabra in good condition with the pedestals showing minor damages – came for sale from a north of England family that had owned them since an auction purchase in the 1950s.

Against a guide of £30,000-50,000 at the auction on July 17, the winning bid of £68,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) came from a UK dealer.