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Candlestick

Candlestick

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hatch, Anthony (maker)
    Pilchard, Stephen (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass, cast and decorated with enamel

  • Museum number:

    175-1906

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 3

Object Type
Candlesticks of this form, with large trumpet-shaped bases and concave dish-trays, were fashionable in England around the mid-17th century.

Materials & Making
What makes this brass candlestick particularly interesting is its decoration. The surfaces are cast in low relief with flowers and scrolling foliage, while the ground is filled with black and white champlevé enamel.

This candlestick is from a group of enamelled cast brasswares that also included mirror-frames, stirrups, fire-dogs, sconces and sword-hilts as well as smaller items such as roundels for the centre of pewter dishes, badges and buttons. The colours used for the enamelling were limited to black, white, blue, green, yellow and red and the cast work is usually unsophisticated and rather roughly finished.

The Makers
The name of the manufacturer of all these English enamelled wares was unknown until recently. Research has now shown that Anthony Hatch, a prominent member of the Armourers and Braziers Company, supplied an enamelled brass chimney piece to the Company, which was placed in the Court Room. This was presumably similar in style to the other enamelled wares from this group, which of course included other wares associated with fireplaces. Anthony Hatch worked with Stephen Pilchard, another member of the Armourers and Braziers Company, and as the comparatively small output of work is clearly the work of one workshop, there seems every reason to suppose that it was in their workshop in London that all these enamelled wares were made. These candlesticks were formerly in Warwick Castle and some of the objects have Royalist associations. Even domestic wares decorated with enamel would have been expensive, which implies that the workshop that produced them would have had a small but comparatively wealthy clientele.

Physical description

Trumpet based candlestick of cast brass, cylindrical stem with wide shallow drip pan half way up, the whole enamelled in black and white with flowers and stems.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

ca. 1650 (made)

Artist/maker

Hatch, Anthony (maker)
Pilchard, Stephen (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Brass, cast and decorated with enamel

Dimensions

Height: 24.8 cm, Diameter: 17.8 cm base

Object history note

Probably made in the London workshop of Anthony Hatch (active from 1632, died, probably in London, 1689) or Stephen Pilchard

Historical significance: The items in the group are distinguished by their method of production: the fields to be enamelled were cast in the original moulds and not, as was more common, engraved (champlévé) or enclosed (cloisonné). They were for a long time referred to as Surrey Enamels after the author Charles R. Beard ascribed their manufacture to a factory in Esher, Surrey, but documentary evidence makes a storng case for their reattribution to the London workshops of Anthony Hatch and Stephen Pilcherd.

Hatch, a prominent member of the Armourers and Braziers Company, supplied an enamelled brass chimney piece to the Company, which was placed in the Court Room. This was presumably similar in style to the other enamelled wares from this group, which of course included other wares associated with fireplaces. Hatch worked with Pilchard, another member of the Armourers and Braziers Company.

Few examples fo these enamelled wares survive and along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the V&A has the largest holding in the world at around a dozen examples. The comparatively small output of work and the repeated use of identical moulds for the stems of candlesticks, firedogs and cups suggests these objects are the products one workshop. Even domestic wares decorated with enamel would have been expensive, which implies that the workshop that produced them would have had a small but comparatively wealthy clientele.

Historical context note

This candlestick is from a group of cast and enamelled brasswares that include stirrups, mirror-frames, fire-dogs, sconces, badges and sword-hilts. The colours used for the enamelling were limited to matt black, white, blue, green, yellow and red and the cast work is usually roughly finished. Some have Royalist associations including badges decorated with the Royal arms.

Descriptive line

Enamelled brass ('London Enamel' formerly 'Surrey Enamel'), probably made by Anthony Hatch and Stephen Pilcherd, London, 1650-1680

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

Blair, Claude, "Surrey Enamels Reattributed: Part 1", Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Volume 13, June 2005, pp. 2-9, illus. on cover and on p. 5, Fig. 6
Blair, Claude, and Patterson, Angus, "Surrey Enamels Reattributed: Part 2, An Illustrated List of Known Types", The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, June 2006, vol. 14, pp. 10-21

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This is one of a group of brasswares made using this technique, including mirror frames, firedogs and sword hilts. They were produced in a single London workshop, between about 1640 and 1660. The enamelling technique is known as 'champlevé' in which enamel in powder form is placed into hollows cast or engraved into the metal before firing in an enclosed kiln. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Brass; Enamel

Techniques

Casting; Enamelling

Categories

Lighting; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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