A rare little antique silver taper stick. The early design has a baluster stem and raised octagonal foot. Cast silver. Britannia standard silver*. The decoration is later done. Weight 133 grams, 4.1 troy ounces. Height 13 cms. Base diameter 7.5 cms. London 1715. Maker possibly “DW”.
Literature: Tapersticks, averaging about 5 inches high are miniature table candlesticks used to hold a wax taper. They are rarer than candlesticks and very few exist prior to the Queen Anne period. They usually appear in singles and pairs of tapersticks command a premium price.
*Britannia Standard. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.