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Candlestick

Candlestick

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1767-1768 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ebenezer Coker (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, raised, soldered and engraved

  • Museum number:

    M.2:1, 2-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
Candlesticks were an essential part of everyday domestic life, and the candles that they held were the chief source of artificial light until about 1780, when oil lamps became more common. They were used all over the house, and moved from place to place as required. Candlesticks could be made from various types of material, including ceramic, glass, pewter and silver. The candles could also be made out of different products, for instance, tallow from animals such as the ox, and beeswax. Beeswax candles were particularly expensive, being three times the price of tallow. Only the very wealthy could afford silver candlesticks like this one.

People
The candlestick was probably made by Ebenezer Coker (active 1738-1783), the son of a cheese merchant from Hertfordshire. Although the date of his birth is unknown he was apprenticed to Joseph Smith in 1728. After about ten years Coker established his own business and registered his first mark in 1739. He made high-quality silver, specialising in silver candlesticks and large silver plates or salvers. He was based in Clerkenwell Green in central London all his working life, eventually being declared bankrupt in 1781, two years before his death.

Design & Designing
This silver candlestick is in the Gothic taste, with detailing, such as the quatrefoil design on the base and the clustered column, taken from architectural models. Gothic was a less-popular style in the 18th century than either Rococo or Classicism. Inkstands and candlesticks were more often given a medieval treatment because of that style's scholarly associations.

Physical description

Candlestick, silver, (one of a pair), in the Gothic taste, formed of a perpendicular quatrefoil clustered column rising from a quatrefoil base chased with paterae. The column has three decorative bands, an acanthus capital and a quatrefoil removable nozzle with a gadrooned rim.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1767-1768 (made)

Artist/maker

Ebenezer Coker (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, raised, soldered and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmarks for 1767-8

Mark of Ebenezer Coker
probably

Engraved with the crest and motto "Dread God" of the Earl of South Esk, (Kinnard, C. Forfar)

Dimensions

Height: 28.75 cm, Width: 12.5 cm of base, Weight: 645.3 g, Weight: 20.74 troy

Descriptive line

Silver, London hallmarks for 1767-8, mark of Ebenezer Coker

Production Note

This candlestick has been attributed to Ebenezer Coker on the basis of a mark on the nozzle which is very similar to a mark in the unregistered section of A.G. Grimwade's London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 (London, 1976), p.252. Coker was known to be a specialist candlestick maker.

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Raising; Soldering; Engraving (incising)

Subjects depicted

Paterae (motifs); Gadroons; Acanthus

Categories

Lighting; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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