Ronald Phillips, Ltd.
Duke of Leeds Wall Sconces- Price Upon Request
THE DUKE OF LEEDS WALL SCONCES A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY REPOUSSÉ GILT BRASS TWO LIGHT WALL SCONCES A highly important and extremely rare pair of late 17th century repoussé gilt brass two light wall sconces of enormous size, retaining traces of the original gilding, each being of oval shield shape, worked in fine repoussé depicting scrolling leaves and figures with birds, centred by the arms of Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, with the insignia of the Knights of the Garter, and surmounted by a ducal crown supported by female figures; the bases issuing twin scrolled candle arms with scalloped drip pans and stiff leaf nozzles. Note: Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby (1631-1712), who commissioned these exquisite sconces, was appointed High Treasurer of England by King Charles II. In 1678 he was impeached for treason, and ten years later was one of the signatories to the petition inviting the Protestant William of Orange to become King of England. Osborne’s support for William was rewarded when the new king made him Marquess of Carmarthen in 1689 and in 1694 1st Duke of Leeds. These spectacular sconces mark Osborne’s elevation to the dukedom. Osborne built a lavish palace at Kiveton in Yorkshire (now demolished), where these sconces may have hung. They were later moved to Hornby Castle, Yorkshire, until the sale of its contents in the 1920s and its subsequent demolition. No other examples of sconces of this scale are known to have survived. Similar but much smaller sconces are in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. One of the cast figures and one stiff leaf candle holder are 19th century replacements. English, circa 1695 Height: 28 in; 71 cm Width: 18 ½ in; 47 cm Depth: 10 ¼ in; 26 cm Provenance: Possibly for Kiveton, Yorkshire, Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, Earl of Danby and Marquess of Carmarthen, and subsequently moved to Hornby Castle, Yorkshire; Private collection, New York. Literature: Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, revised edition, 1954, vol. III, p. 47, fig. 4. Jonathan Bourne and Vanessa Brett, Lighting in the Domestic Interior, 1991, p. 38, illus. 99. Rupert Gentle, Domestic Metalwork 1640-1820, 1994, p. 196.
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