Early 19th Century Bronze and Gilt Bronze Empire Period Candlesticks

This pair of two-tone candlesticks from the early 19th century exemplifies the elegance and refinement of the Empire period, combining the luxurious appeal of bronze and gilt bronze with classical motifs.

Design and Characteristics

  1. Materials: These candlesticks are crafted from bronze and gilt bronze, showcasing the Empire period’s preference for luxurious and durable materials. The combination of the dark bronze with the bright, reflective gilt bronze creates a striking contrast, enhancing the visual appeal of the pieces.
  2. Circular Bases: The candlesticks stand on circular bases, providing stability and a balanced aesthetic. The bases are typically solid and substantial, reflecting the robust construction methods of the time.
  3. Gilt Star Motifs: The bases are adorned with gilt star motifs, a decorative element that draws inspiration from classical and military themes. Stars were often used in Empire design to symbolize excellence and celestial guidance, aligning with the period’s neoclassical influences.
  4. Two-Tone Finish: The two-tone finish, combining polished bronze with gilded highlights, is a hallmark of Empire decorative arts. This technique not only emphasizes the intricate details but also adds depth and richness to the overall design.

Historical Context and Usage

The Empire style emerged during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, from 1804 to 1815, and extended into the early 19th century. This style was characterized by its grandiose and classical aesthetics, heavily influenced by the art and architecture of ancient Rome and Greece.

  • Classical Inspiration: The use of classical motifs, such as stars and other celestial symbols, was intended to evoke the splendor of ancient civilizations. These elements helped to legitimize and glorify Napoleon’s rule by associating it with the powerful empires of the past.
  • Luxury and Prestige: The preference for bronze and gilt bronze in decorative objects reflects the period’s emphasis on luxury and prestige. These materials were not only visually impressive but also signified wealth and sophistication.
  • Functional Art: While highly decorative, Empire period candlesticks were also functional. They were used to provide lighting in grand interiors, contributing to the ambiance and aesthetic of Empire-style homes and public spaces.

Example from Nicholas Wells Antiques

Nicholas Wells Antiques features a collection of Empire period antiques, including similar bronze and gilt bronze candlesticks. These pieces highlight the intricate craftsmanship and luxurious materials characteristic of the Empire style, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of early 19th-century decorative arts.

For more detailed information and to explore specific items, you can visit Nicholas Wells Antiques (Empire)​​ (Napoleon)​​

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

Pair of Bronze and Ormolu Candlesticks

Stock Number: 25381

Pair of two tone early 19th century Bronze and gilt bronze Empire period Candlesticks with circular bases and mounted with gilt star motifs.


This unique piece is subject to availability.
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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 6920 897

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Our description of any item on the website, any condition report and any other statement made by us (whether orally or in writing) about any item, including about its nature or condition, artist, period, materials, approximate dimensions, or provenance are our opinion and not to be relied upon as a statement of fact.


In the UK Online sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’. We offer a refund to customers if you’ve told us within 3 days of receiving the goods that you want to cancel. You have another 14 days to return the goods once you’ve told us of your intention. A refund will be issued within 14 days of receiving the goods back in the same condition. Return shipping should be the same level as received with insurance, we recommend using the same shipper at your cost. If needed we will help organise suitable shipping.

We will refund the purchase price, excluding delivery costs and taxes, within 14 days of the safe receipt of items in the same condition as supplied. The liability for any damage incurred during transit will remain with the sender. We recommend that adequate insurance is placed on items when returning them to us.

All returns must be communicated prior to an item being sent back.

We extend these Return terms to our international clients.

Delivery Options

We will ship worldwide however the costs vary between countries so please email us for a quote. Depending on the item we will recommend the most suitable method.

Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.


All items are sent fully insured at the invoice value.


All items are inclusive of all local taxes but may be subject to additional charges for importation and taxes local to the client. Antiques are zero-rated to the USA, all items ship with the correct paperwork. While we are not liable for these additional charges we do encourage clients to research these prior to purchasing items from us. We will make a full value disclosure, as required by the insurance, on all items sent overseas. This is required to ensure proper insurance cover in sending valuable items.


Where required we will oversee the completion of all export licenses for high-value items. We will also arrange for CITES paperwork for materials of endangered species including ivory, tortoiseshell, stuffed birds etc.


This is dependent on the size and value of the object, all items are checked over and polished before shipping and will generally have wooden crates made. This all takes time so expect 10 – 20 working days for delivery unless the item is small in which case 2-3 days from order.


Every effort is made to make Customs Clearance as quick as possible, items held in customs are out of our control. They may require documents / ID to release the goods, please keep this in mind, it is just procedure.


All our antiques now also come with an invoice as a Valuation Certificate for insurance purposes.