This is an important elegant large pair of antique English George III Old Sheffield silver plate, three light, two-branch table candelabra from the Rothschild Collection, circa 1820 in date
The candelabra feature tapering lobed circular columns with leaf capped scroll arms on campana shaped capitals with detachable foliate scroll drip pans, and
with central detachable flame finials, can be used on raised lobed circular bases with foliate borders.
With superb provenance:
Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942)
Edmund de Rothschild (1916-2009)
The Trustees of Exbury House.
The attention to detail is absolutely fantastic and they are certain to attract attention wherever they are placed.
In excellent condition. As antique items, the pair show signs of use commensurate with age, these minor condition issues are mentioned for accuracy and, as seen in the accompanying photographs, the candelabra display beautifully.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 64 x Width 46 x Depth 19
Dimensions in inches:
Height 25.2 x Width 18.1 x Depth 7.5
Old Sheffield Plate – or ‘fused plate’ as it is sometimes known, was the first commercially viable method of plating metal.
The material was accidentally invented by Thomas Boulsover, of Sheffield’s Cutlers Company, in 1743. While trying to repair the handle of a customer’s decorative knife, he heated it too much and the silver started to melt. When he examined the damaged handle, he noticed that the silver and copper had fused together very strongly. Experiments showed that the two metals behaved as one when he tried to reshape them, even though he could clearly see two different layers.
Boulsover set up in business, funded by Strelley Pegge of Beauchief, and carried out further experiments in which he put a thin sheet of silver on a thick ingot of copper and heated the two together to fuse them. When the composite block was hammered or rolled to make it thinner, the two metals were reduced in thickness at similar rates. Using this method, Boulsover was able to make sheets of metal which had a thin layer of silver on the top surface and a thick layer of copper underneath. When this new material was used to make buttons, they looked and behaved like silver buttons but were a fraction of the cost.
The technique Boulsover developed was to sandwich an ingot of copper between two plates of silver, tightly bind it with wire, heat it in a furnace and then mill it out in to sheet, from which objects could be made.
Our reference: A1329