A Fine and Unusual Pair of George II cast candlesticks

Maker: 
Thomas Gilpin
Dated: 
1746
Dimensions: 
8 1/2 in, (21.3 cm)
Weight: 
1219

Each on a shaped square base with gadroon band running close to the edge. The baluster columns rising from leafy domes to fluted knops. The panelled plain central sections capped by 4 lion masks with crustacean work above. The spool-shaped sconces partly chased with stiff leafage and supporting unusual 8-leafed nozzles.

Price: 
9500 GBP
Provenance: 
  • The engraved crest of a lion's head erased, impailed through the neck with a spear is unrecorded in Fairbairn's Book of Crests but may possibly be that of the Earle family
  • Lawrences, Crewkerne, 18th January, 2010, Lot 341

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These unusual and heavy candlesticks are derived from a design popularized amongst others by the Royal Goldsmith George Wickes. The added use of lion's masks at the shoulders first appeared in the early 1690's on small candlesticks by makers such as Edward Gibson and Pierre Harache and both probably taking inspiration from the designs of Jean Berain. These candlesticks have a pleasing balance between plain and ornate surfaces; the domed leaf calyx at the bottom of the stems being echoed around the lower parts of the sconces and finally manifested in exuberant leafy nozzles. Thomas Gilpin made a pair of Candlesicks at Althorp with very similar nozzles but generally these are very rare. In Arthur Grimwade's definitive book on London silversmiths he comments "At his best Gilpin is an extremely accomplished exponent of the rococo style".