An Extremely Rare Pair of Early Victorian Gothic Cast Candlesticks

Charles Reily and George Storer
6" High, 4.5" Diameter
24 oz

Each on a shaped octafoil base, the lobes separated by a protruding point and the latter capped by a cast leafy scroll dividing finely engraved panels of symmetrical scrollwork arounf further leafy roundels. The tapering stems with 8 plain straps rising from the cast scrolls up to a collar of 8 smaller scrolls. The octagonal sconces engraved with vertically stretched plain quatrefoils within lined oblong panels all above a plain flat drip pan with triple threaded border. The underside of the bases inscribed "Harvey and Co,  64 Strand & 128 Regent St".


The firm of Harvey and Co have their origins back in 1723 with Alston and Grayhurst. At the time of manufacture in 1843 the company had evolved into John Harvey & Co trading at The Strand (no. 64) and at 128 Regent Street. By 1845 The Strand office had closed in favour of the Regent Street address and by the last quarter of the 20th century became Harvey and Gore in Burlington Gardens close to the northern entrance to the Burlington Arcade.


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It is well documented that Augustus Pugin was one of the main protagonists of the Gothic revival but much of his metal designs were of a religious nature. These Candlesticks appear to have no religious iconography which makes them exceptionally rare. Whilst it is tempting to attribute a Pugin connection no evidence has been found to suggest he had any direct influence in their design. However, to find a secular gothic designs before the Great Exhibition of 1851 is highly unusual.

The quality of the workmanship is superb which is unsurprising because Mssrs Reily and Storer were noted snuff box makers with a "house style" of fine engraving. Similarly the engraved name of the retailer Harvey and Co. is another very rare feature. In 1971 when I started at Phillips Auctioneers Harvey and Gore were run by the brothers Brian and Christopher Norman with Brian concentrating on Jewellery and Christopher on 18th cenury Old Sheffield Plate.