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Girandoles

Girandoles

Inv. No. CE3/01588; CE3/01589

This pair of girandoles are made from glass with acid-etched decoration. One contains the figure of Apollo and the other contains the figure of Pallas Athena, both of which are framed by a floral border. The frame is made of gold-painted pine with rocaille (also known as rockwork) and scrollwork motifs, typical of the Rococo style. They were made in the Royal Factory of Glass and Crystal of La Granja in Segovia.

The girandole is a type of wall lamp, which was widely used during the Rococo style in the 18th century. It is composed of a small mirror, with a carved golden frame that used to have one or more candleholders on the lower part, so that the light from these candles is reflected in the mirror.

The Royal Factory of Glass and Crystal of La Granja (la Real Fábrica de Cristal de La Granja) was the most important manufacturer of glass in Spain during the 18th century and early 19th century. It was founded in 1728 by Ventura Sit, under the patronage of King Phillip V of Spain and in grounds near to the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso. The factory’s primary objective was to supply mirrors to royal residences, but it later began to manufacture hollow glassware such as tableware and various containers. The production consisted of tableware and chandeliers made of fine glass or engraved, cut or gilded crystal. These imitated English or Bohemian products, such as French opaline (a type of translucent glass with a milky appearance), and from 1775, varnished pieces. In 1833, following the death of Ferdinand VII of Spain and without the support of the monarchy, the factory’s production came to a standstill. In the end, Isabella II of Spain privately leased the building to particular owners during the second half of the 19th century. After its use by different companies and corporations during the 20th century, the National Glass Centre (la Fundación Centro Nacional del Vidrio) was created in 1982. It reclaimed the building outside the Royal Site of San Ildefonso to house a museum, glass-making school and research centre.

Items displayed in the Red Room, first floor.

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