NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA-- Every week we bring you something unique from our city's past for our Find of the Week segment where we team up with The Historic New Orleans Collection. This week we present something very useful in the dark. It's also Egyptian and French.
The tools we use, live beyond our mortal lives. Inanimate object are surveyors of history.
Pierre De La Ronde was born in Louisiana in the 1760's and became prominent in the Spanish colonial government.
After the Louisiana purchase, Pierre was the commander of the militia during The Battle of New Orleans. Pierre was the owner of two silver candle sticks.
Lydia Blackmore, the Decorative Arts Curator for the Historic New Orleans Collection, says, "they were in his home, which were sometimes called Versailles. His home was just down the river near Chalmette. The evening battle of December 23rd took place in his front yard. I like these candle sticks because I like to think that they witnessed The Battle of New Orleans.
The patina of the candle sticks is elegant and once, the glow of fire danced on top of the reflective silver with a french charm.
"These candlesticks were made in France, in the first decade of the 19th century. They are napoleonic or empire-styled and they show the first bit of the Egyptian Revival that became so popular in the 19th century," says Blackmore.
As a side-note, when Napoleon's forces went to Egypt they discovered the rosetta stone! The key to reading hieroglyphics. Napoleon also found other relics and was inspired by Egyptian design. The french artists were inspired as well and that inspiration ignited the Egyptian Revival.
Egypt is every bit present in the design of Pierre's candlesticks.
"My favorite part of these candlesticks are the three sphinx heads at the top of each column, looking out from the candle stick," says Blackmore.
The candlesticks had once lit up a room; now they are the light, illuminating a specific moment in history.
Make sure you tune in every Friday to see what we find out of the Historic New Orleans Collection!