Chandelier with Statuette of the Virgin
second half of 15th century (?)
Object Place: Europe, Flanders
108 x 89 cm (42 1/2 x 35 1/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Iron and brass and latten (various parts: 72.1-76.7% copper, 20.7-27.4% zinc, trace-2.2% lead, up to 1.3% tin)
Not On View
Chandelier with a central molded shaft, three tiers each with eight branches, a Virgin and Child surmounted by a ring at the top, and a ring held in the mouth of a lion at the base. Cast in several pieces, turned on a lathe, chasd, and assembled with an iron pin in the shaft and slots for the branches. The iron pin is attached to an oval loop at the top with a threaded bolt. With flaming rays projecting from her body and standing on a crescent moon, the Virgin is hollow cast in one piece; her left hand with the Child and the crown are cast separately. The molded shaft, including rings with slots for attachment of branches, has six parts. Crockets are riveted to the hexagonal inverted pyramid at the base. Although the branches have a different size for each tier, they all take the same basic form of a scroll with leaves inscribed either with trefoils or crosses; in descending order of size, the branches have thirteen, ten, and nine leaves. They are solid cast with a protruding quadrangle to fit slots on the stem, and a common model was used for those of each tier. The hexagonal sockets (cast in one piece with later holes for electrification) have threaded pins that pass through a hole in the drip pan (also cast in one piece with a later hole for electrification) and attach to threaded holes at the end of the branches. Matching punched dots on the inside of the slots and the protruding quadrangles serve as assembly marks.
Private collection, Genoa [see note 1]. By 1966, F. Ildebrando Bossi, Genoa; 1968, sold by Bossi to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 9, 1968)
 In his curatorial recommendation for its purchase (October 9, 1968) Hanns Swarzenski noted that the chandelier "comes from a Palace in Genoa." Bossi presumably acquired it from this Genoese collection.
Mary S. and Edward Jackson Holmes Fund