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Candelabrum

  • Place of origin:

    London (assayed)

  • Date:

    1731-1732 (hallmarked)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lamerie, Paul de, born 1688 - died 1751 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Raised, cast (and applied), chased, punched and engraved silver (Britannia standard)

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.691:1 to 10-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 71, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 4, shelf 2 []

This candelabrum and its pair are among the earliest known silver candelabra made in Britain. They were made for Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745) and are engraved with his crest and the motto of the Order of the Garter. Later acquired by a celebrated collector of Huguenot silver, Lord Swaythling, they were recognised by his grandson in Sir Arthur Gilbert's Californian home.

When the Catholic King Louis XIV revoked the religiously tolerant Edict of Nantes in 1685, Huguenots (French Protestants) were forced to leave the country. Many were craftsmen who settled in London. Their technical skills and fashionable French style ensured the luxury silver, furniture, watches and jewellery they made were highly sought after. Huguenot specialists transformed English silver by introducing higher standards of craftsmanship. They promoted new forms, such as the soup tureen and sauceboat, and introduced a new repertoire of ornament, with cast sculptural details and exquisite engraving.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

The candelabrum stands on a square base with incurved angles, with a stepped border chased with shells and trelliswork on punched matted ground and with four applied trophies composed of a shell, scrolls, a frond, and a torch; the domed centre of the base is chased with scalework and stylised leaves within a plain sunken surround. The tapering stem is of square section above a compressed spherical knop and is chased with panels of scalework on punched matted ground, with shells at the shoulders. The vase-shaped socket is chased with swirling leaves and scrolls on similar ground. Four branches radiate from a central baluster of octagonal section chased with panels of trelliswork, foliage and ovolo ornament; each branch is of double scroll form, chased with foliage and terminating in a plain vase-shaped socket and shaped circular wax pan with a scroll-, foliage-and-matted border. The base and a number of the wax pans are engraved with a crest and the badge of the Order of the Garter.

Place of Origin

London (assayed)

Date

1731-1732 (hallmarked)

Artist/maker

Lamerie, Paul de, born 1688 - died 1751 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Raised, cast (and applied), chased, punched and engraved silver (Britannia standard)

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmark for 1731-2

Britannia standard

Mark of Paul de Lamerie

Engraved with a crest for Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676-1745) and the badge of the Order of the Garter

Dimensions

Height: 32.3 cm, Width: 33 cm approx., Depth: 33 cm approx., Weight: 2400 g

Object history note

Provenance: Sir Robert Walpole, first earl of Orford (1676-1745). Lord Revelstoke, sale, Christie's, lot 82, 27 June, 1893. The Rt. Hon. Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling. By descent to the 3rd Baron Swaythling; sale, Christie's, lot 26, 06/05/1924. Sale, Christie's, lot 27, 23/03/1966. Purchased from Bulgari, Rome, 1977.

Descriptive line

Silver candelabrum, London hallmarks for 1731-32, mark of Paul de Lamerie

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

Schroder, Timothy. The Gilbert collection of gold and silver, Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1988, cat. no. 50, pp. 204-6. ISBN.0875871445
Jackson, Charles James. An Illustrated History of English Plate, Ecclesiastical and Secular. London: Country Life/B.T. Batsford, 2 Vols. 1911. Reprint. New York: Dover Publications, 1969, vol. 1, p. 289, fig. 311.
Phillips, P.A.S. Paul de Lamerie, citizen and goldsmith of London: A study of his life and work, 1688-1757. London: B.T. Batsford, 1935, pl. LXXIX.
Christie's bi-centenary review of the year 1965-66. London: Hutchinson, pp.126-27.
Grimwade, Arthur. Rococo Silver, 1727-1765. London: Faber and Faber, 1974, p. 56, pl. 77. ISBN.0671105262

Labels and date

(Gallery 71, case 4)
6, 10. Pair of candelabra
1731–32
These are among the earliest known silver candelabra made in Britain. They were produced for Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. They were later bought by a keen collector of Huguenot silver, Samuel Montagu, first Lord Swaythling (1832–1911).
London, England; Paul de Lamerie (1688–1751)
Silver
Engraved with the armorial crest of Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676–1745), and the motto of the Order of the Garter
Museum nos. Loan:Gilbert.690:1 to 10, 691:1 to 10-2008 [16/11/2016]

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Raising; Casting; Chasing; Punching; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Stylized leaves; Torch; Scrolls (motifs); Shells; Foliage

Categories

Lighting; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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