Object Description

This is a fine set of four antique George III, English telescopic Old Sheffield silver plated candlesticks by the renowned maker Blagden, Hodgson & Co, Nursery Street, Sheffield, circa 1820.

They feature subtle classical decoration with a curvaceous form and pinched baluster stems with smooth stepped round bases. The drip pans are removable for ease of cleaning and the bases have been filled for balance.

In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 21 x Width 12 x Depth 12 – Closed
Height 25 x Width 12 x Depth 12 – Open

Dimensions in inches:
Height 8.3 x Width 4.7 x Depth 4.7 – Closed
Height 9.8 x Width 4.7 x Depth 4.7 – Open

Blagden Hodgson & Co. was established on 20 Nursery Street, Sheffield England. The company was founded in 1821 and continued until 1833 when Charles Hawksworth and John Eyre succeeded them and renamed the company Hawksworth Eyre & Co. They also changed the hallmark from the cross over globe to “H E & Co.”

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 into a sheet, from which objects could be made.

Our reference: 08886

Object Classification

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