Torchère candelabra, on styrofoam base; dimensions reflect styrofoam base and candelabra; female figures, each holding a torch of many candles

Torchère, one of a pair, c. 1862

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These free-standing gas lights (or a similar pair) were chosen to represent French design at the International Exposition of 1862 in London. Forty years later, they were purchased from a Paris dealer for the new home of Louis W. Hill (1872–1948), a prominent businessman and the son of St. Paul railroad magnate James J. Hill. Louis Hill’s house, built in 1903, was furnished as lavishly as his parents’ famous mansion next door, which at the time of its completion was the most expensive house ever built in Minnesota. These elegant torchères at first welcomed guests to the foyer and later were moved into a ballroom added to the house in 1912. They remained in the family until a daughter donated them to Mia in 1974.

Details
Title
Torchère, one of a pair
Artist Life
1824–1887
Role
Designer
Accession Number
74.27.1a-e
Curator Approved

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Torchère candelabra, on styrofoam base; dimensions reflect styrofoam base and candelabra; female figures, each holding a torch of many candles