George II Antique Silver Candelabra Suite

GBP 19,500.00

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Object Description

Antique silver candelabra from this period are very rare and the additional pair of matching candlesticks add to the splendour of this set. A fine set of two-light silver candelabras of naturalistic rococo design with removable branches, the candlesticks with large hand engraved armorials. The four candlesticks can be used on their own. All pieces are made of heavy cast silver.

Weight 4597 grams, 14 troy ounces.
Height 42.5cm (top of candelabra), 27.2cm (candlestick).
London 1754-55.
Maker John Café, specialist candlestick maker.
Sterling silver.

Marks. The candlesticks and candelabras are stamped with English silver hallmarks for London 1754 and 1755. All by the same maker John Café.

Candelabra branches. All drip pans have the maker, lion mark and engraved unicorn crest.
Candelabra bottoms. The sticks are fully stamped underneath for London 1755, maker John Café. Detachable nozzles, stamped with the lion and maker’s mark, no crest.
The sticks are fully stamped underneath for London 1756, maker John Café. Detachable nozzles with engraved unicorn crest.

Armorials. The candlestick bases have hand engraved armorials contained within a rococo cartouche. Candlestick 1 and 2 (candelabra bases) have the matching armorial shown on the left of the armorial image. Candlestick 3 and 4 have the matching armorial shown on the right of the armorial image.

Maker: John Café

John Café, London silversmith, apprenticed to James Gould 1730, free 1740. 1st mark, largeworker, 1740. 2nd mark 1742. Took his brother William Cafe as apprentice 1742. Livery 1746. John died c.1757 and his apprentices Thomas Hannam and John Perry were turned over to William Cafe. Both William and John were known for their cast candlesticks.

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Object History

Purchased from EKT Koppman & Son Ltd 20/07/65.

Object Literature

Hardly any antique silver candelabra survive from before the mid-18th century. Most candelabra have a detachable upper section which allows the candlesticks to be used on their own. Available in many different combinations, the smallest candelabra have just 2 arms with 2 or 3 candle lights and the largest could have an impressive 8 branches with 9 lights.

In antique times candelabra use signified burning many candles at once, an expense justified only when a number of people met or when a large room had to be lighted. Nowadays candelabras are popularly used to create an intimate atmosphere at the dining table allowing friends and acquaintances to converse across the flickering lights.

Rococo, fashionable from about 1730 to 1770, was used primarily in furniture, silver and ceramics. The style takes its name from the French rocaille (pronounced ‘rock-eye’), which means the rock or broken shell motifs which often formed part of the design. Rococo design was developed by craftspeople and designers rather than architects which helps to explain the importance of hand-worked decoration. The natural flowing design is often not symmetrical – one half of the design does not match the other half. Curved forms, often resembling the letters S and C, are common.

Object Condition

All in very good condition. Excellent colour.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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