Pair of very large gilt bronze wall lights by Henri Vian

By Vian, Henri (French, 1860-1905)


These stunning lights hung in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York until 1967, and were subsequently purchased by the opera bass, Giorgio Tozzi.


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These grand and impressive wall lights are finely cast from gilt bronze with a lyre-shaped backing, a Bacchus-mask, and three scrolling light branches. They were made towards the end of the 19th Century by the the important Parisian bronzier, Henri Vian (French, 1860-1905), and each fitting is signed to the rim of the central section 'h Vian'.

The wall lights were housed for many years at the former Metropolitan Opera House in New York, which was built in 1883 at 1411 Broadway and was demolished in 1967. These wall lights hung in the south lobby of the building. Following its demolition, the famed operatic bass, Giorgio Tozzi (American, 1923-2011), asked his friend Francis Robinson to help him purchase this pair of lights. Robinson was known as 'Mr. Metropolitan' having worked at the Opera House for many years in various different roles. On 9 December 1987, Tozzi wrote an affectionate letter to his friends—Nancy and Richard—detailing his feelings for the Metropolitan Opera House, these wall lights, and how he acquired them. The letter ends with him generously gifting these lights to Nancy and Richard.


- The former Metropolitan Opera House, New York until 1967 (hanging in the south lobby, 1411 Broadway)
- In the collection of opera singer Giorgio Tozzi (American, 1923-2011) until he gifted them to his friends in 1987


Featured in Opera News magazine from 16 April 1966, focusing on the Metropolitan Opera House from 1883-1966. One light is illustrated and listed as 'Baroque light fixture in south lobby'.


Artist / Maker
By Vian, Henri (French, 1860-1905)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Baroque, Louis XIV
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)


95 cm / 37.4 inches
48 cm / 18.9 inches
30 cm / 11.8 inches


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