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What is this?

A candlestick, in elevation, resting on upper and lower pedestals. The lower pedestal, supported by lion's feet, is flanked by terminal, winged, caryatid cherubim (or seraphim) perching on curling volutes; in between is a central panel depicting a scene of sacrifice (a figure with arms outstretched is between two standing figures flanking a bull (?) splayed on the altar). Between the lion's paws at the base (on the lowest rectangular block), there is a scalloped lunette with an urn at its center, from which hang paired festoons. At the top of the lowest pedestal, the wings of the addorsed cherubim terminate in a frontal, bald-headed mask with fin-like jowls. These cherubim support the stepped, base molding (scored with a stylus) of the upper pedestal which is flanked by two ram heads, with garlands hanging from their mouths, above two animal masks. Two cinerary urns in niches decorate the upper pedestal's central panel. Atop the two-tiered pedestals, the upper candlestick shaft consists of a vase surmounted by an urn and another upper section. A baluster crowns the shaft. Faintly sketched are six branches (three on either side of the upper shaft) to suggest an overall seven-branched candlestick design. At the lower right, two plan sketches with numbers ("8" and "5") indicating, probably, the size of the marble block needed to carve the corresponding sections of the candelabrum (as Sir Timothy Clifford has called it); the numbers correspond to others on the more finished drawing. Some believe the design might have been intended to be realized in metal.

This is a drawing from Italy. It is dated 1520–30 and we acquired it in 1942. Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. John Innes Kane. This object is currently resting in our storage facility ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Its medium is

black chalk, brush and brown wash, incised lines and compass points on cream laid paper, lined

Its dimensions are

43.4 x 25.4cm (17 1/16 x 10in.) Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16 in.) Frame H x W x D: 44.8 x 60.3 x 2.5 cm (17 5/8 in. x 23 3/4 in. x 1 in.)

It has the following markings

Watermark: anchor in circle, six-pointed star on top, similar to Briquet 478 (Bergamo, 1502) or Briquet 511(Udine, 1535)

It is inscribed

Inscribed in black chalk, center, on molding of upper pedestal: 8; lower center on margin of Sacrifice panel: +; at lower right, in center lower plan: 5; on upper rim of lower plan: 8; on left edge of lower plan: +

This object was manufactured by Michelangelo Buonarroti

This object was catalogued by Marilyn Symmes and Rudolph Berliner and purchased from P. and D. Colnaghi and Co., Ltd.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=http://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18565597/ |title=Drawing, "Design for a Candelabrum", 1520–30 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 October 2014 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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