Candlestick

ca. 1550 (made)
Candlestick thumbnail 1
Candlestick thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The form of this candlestick is that of a Nuremberg prototype of the late 16th century. It is probable that it was imported, undecorated, into Venice and the decoration was added there. Venice during this period traded, and fought, extensively with the Turkish and Arab empires that bordered the Mediterranean basin. Venetian merchants brought to the city Near Eastern goods, which had an immediate influence on local design and eventually on the rest of Europe.

Unlike northern European brasswork, Venetian brasswork was almost always engraved and inlaid with silver wire, a technique known as ‘damascene’. The decoration was extensive, often covering the entire surface of an object.

This brass candlestick has a vase-shaped shaft and is decorated with a narrow interlace in silver, and the spaces filled with an engraved scroll pattern. The arabesque pattern, based on a stylised plant with a winding stem, was studied and copied by contemporary Italian artists. By the middle of the 16th century, the arabesque as a form of ornament was beginning to influence craftworkers all over Europe. It became incorporated into the development of European ornamental design until the decline of the Rococo style in the late 18th century.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brass, interlaced with silver
Brief Description
Brass candlestick with a vase-shaped shaft, decorated with a narrow interlace in silver, Venetian, ca. 1550
Physical Description
Brass candlestick with a vase-shaped shaft, decorated with a narrow interlace in silver, with the spaces filled with an engraved scroll pattern of Moorish design.
Dimensions
  • Height: 7.75in
Style
Gallery Label
PAIR OF CANDLESTICKS Brass, engraved and inlaid with silver Venetian-Saracenic; middle of the 16th century
Subject depicted
Summary
The form of this candlestick is that of a Nuremberg prototype of the late 16th century. It is probable that it was imported, undecorated, into Venice and the decoration was added there. Venice during this period traded, and fought, extensively with the Turkish and Arab empires that bordered the Mediterranean basin. Venetian merchants brought to the city Near Eastern goods, which had an immediate influence on local design and eventually on the rest of Europe.



Unlike northern European brasswork, Venetian brasswork was almost always engraved and inlaid with silver wire, a technique known as ‘damascene’. The decoration was extensive, often covering the entire surface of an object.



This brass candlestick has a vase-shaped shaft and is decorated with a narrow interlace in silver, and the spaces filled with an engraved scroll pattern. The arabesque pattern, based on a stylised plant with a winding stem, was studied and copied by contemporary Italian artists. By the middle of the 16th century, the arabesque as a form of ornament was beginning to influence craftworkers all over Europe. It became incorporated into the development of European ornamental design until the decline of the Rococo style in the late 18th century.
Bibliographic Reference
Patterson, Angus, Fashion and Armour in Renaissance Europe: Proud Lookes and Brave Attire, V&A Publishing, London, 2009, ISBN 9781851775811, p. 97, ill.
Collection
Accession Number
553-1865

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record createdMarch 10, 2003
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