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  • Candlestick
    Moser, George Michael, born 1706 - died 1783
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1740 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moser, George Michael, born 1706 - died 1783 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:

    M.329& F-1977

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 53a, case 5 []

Object Type

This candlestick is one of a pair. It comes from two pairs in the V&A intended to be placed on a dining table and viewed from all sides.


The stems are formed of female and male figures that also support the candle sockets. The nymph Daphne is fleeing the amorous advances of the Olympian god Apollo, the male figure. She finally escapes by turning into a laurel tree, symbolising the victory of Chastity over Desire. Figural candlesticks had been known in antiquity and were popular in Europe from the 16th century.


The Daphne figure on one of the candlesticks appears to be based on an original design (also in the V&A) by the renowned Swiss-born gold chaser George Michael Moser (1706-1783). No equivalent design for the Apollo figure has been traced. Moser's Daphne derives from the famous and much-reproduced sculptural group Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, made in 1625 for the Galleria Borghese, Rome. The bold scrollwork and marine theme of the bases show the clear influence of the ornamental designs of Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695-1750), a celebrated exponent of the Rococo who worked in Paris. Moser and his fellow artist members of the St Martin's Lane Academy in London are credited with the dissemination of the Rococo style in England.

Physical description

Candlestick, one of a set of four

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)


ca. 1740 (made)


Moser, George Michael, born 1706 - died 1783 (designer)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions


Town mark: Probably London

Object history note

After a design by George Michael Moser (born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 1706, died in London, 1783) Probably made in London

Descriptive line

Apollo and Daphne candlestick (from a set of four)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The designer, George Michael Moser, was a virtuoso chaser of gold. He also taught drawing at the St Martin's Lane Academy, the birthplace of English Rococo. He based the dramatically twisting figures and scrollwork bases of these candlesticks on the work of the great French Rococo goldsmith Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier (1695-1750). [27/03/2003]


Images Online; Lighting; Metalwork; British Galleries


Metalwork Collection

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