Silver James II Candlestick

unknown

Sterling silver candlestick with detachable Sheffield plate nozzle

1685-1686
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: USA
    City: Boston
    Place: British Consulate-General

    This neo-classical candlestick has a stepped base supporting a fluted, Greek style column. It is part of a collection of some 60 items of historic Government silver, most of which were transferred to the Government Art Collection from the Privy Council Office. Many of the items were supplied by the Jewel House, the department of the Royal Household responsible for producing silver for British Government use.

    The base of the candlestick is engraved with the Royal Coat of Arms and the monogram 'AR', referring to Queen Anne. This piece was in fact made during the reign of James II, rather than Queen Anne. However, in the years after its production the earlier monarch's initials may have been erased and the inscription updated.

    Its design is a style which disappeared from production shortly after this example was made, partly as a result of changing fashions and partly because of developments in production methods. Neo-classical designs fell out of favour soon after 1700 and it was not until the 1760s or 1770s that there was a revival in taste for this style. Also, in the early eighteenth century, the technique of casting silver began to be employed and this particular design was not well suited to being cast.

    Converted for use as an electric lamp, probably during the 1930s, electrical fittings and a black painted wooden base were removed from this candlestick and the piece was restored, before it was transferred to the Government Art Collection.

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  • Details
    Artist
    unknown
    Title
    Silver James II Candlestick
    Date
    1685-1686
    Medium
    Sterling silver candlestick with detachable Sheffield plate nozzle
    Dimensions
    height: 24.40 cm, width: 16.10 cm, depth: 16.20 cm
    Acquisition
    Transferred from the Privy Council Office, January 2008
    GAC number
    DM29