Girandoles – Paul and Virginia

American, gilt-lacquered brass, marble and cut glass Paul and Virginia girandole, mid-19th century

p4A ItemID D9781643
Third quarter 19th century, three-piece American cast-brass and prism-hung girandole set, depicting Paul and Virginia

p4A ItemID D9768445
A three piece cast brass Paul and Virginia girandole set with white marble bases and cut, paneled prisms

p4A ItemID E8955213
An American Gilt Brass Paul et Virginie Three‑Piece Girandole Garniture

p4A ItemID E8844347

Paul and Virginia Girandoles

The design inspiration for the Paul and Virginia girandoles was the 1787 romantic novel Paul et Virginie by the French author Bernadin de Saint-Pierre (1737 to 1814). The novel tells of star-crossed lovers, the children of misalliances whose mothers have sought refuge in the tropical French Colony of Isle de France (Mauritus). Raised as siblings, Paul and Virginia develop a deep and innocent love broken only by Virginia’s return to Europe to care for a sick aunt. Later, while returning to Paul, Virginia dies in a shipwreck, to be followed shortly in death by her grief-strickent lover.

This classic novel, also espousing Saint-Pierre’s recurring themes of order and harmony in the universe under the divine providence of God, was widely popular thoughout the nineteenth century and its themes are reflected in many products of the Victorian era’s popular culture.

For a period aquatint related to the Paul and Virginia novel see p4A item 182998.


About This Site

Internet Antique Gazette is brought to you by Prices4Antiques.