A fine pair of early English cast silver candlesticks of unusually good size and weight. Britannia standard silver*. Good plain design with circular bases and octagonal stems.
Weight 1051 grams, 33.7 troy ounces.
Height 21 cm. Base 13.2 cm.
Hand engraved to the top of each base is the crest of a lion.
Maker probably Thomas Merry – see Jackson’s Gold & Silver Marks page 162.
*Britannia Standard silver. 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 pure. 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.
Thomas Merry I, apprenticed to Henry Grant in 1693, turned over to John Laughton, a specialist candlestick maker in 1695, free 1701. Mark entered in 1701 as smallworker. Married 1699.