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Candelabrum

  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham, England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1846 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)
    John Hardman & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast brass and glass

  • Museum number:

    2740-1851

  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, room 116, case 1

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This magnificent six-light candelabrum was part of a series designed by A.W.N. Pugin in 1846. A fine example of the Gothic Revival style which Pugin championed, it was designed to go in the rebuilt Houses of Parliament. It was made by Pugin's preferred manufacturer, the Birmingham firm of John Hardman and Co. This was one of the Museum's early purchases, bought from the Great Exhibition in 1851 for £7 and catalogued as 'English, modern'.

Physical description

Brass candelabrum with 6 branches in the style of 15th-century German brass, with 8-lobed foot rising as a twisted trumpet shape, the thick twisted stem with central facetted knop, the branches held in sockets at the top of the stem, each with engraved lozenge patterns terminating in circular glass beads under conical drip pans and cylindrical candle sockets.

Place of Origin

Birmingham, England (made)

Date

ca. 1846 (designed)

Artist/maker

Pugin, born 1812 - died 1852 (designer)
John Hardman & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Cast brass and glass

Dimensions

Height: 71.0 cm, Width: 45.7 cm

Object history note

This magnificent six-light candelabrum was part of a series designed by AWN Pugin in 1846. A fine example of the Gothic Revival style, which Pugin championed, it was designed to go in the rebuilt Houses of Parliament. It was made by Pugin's preferred manufacturer, the Birmingham firm of John Hardman and Co. This was one of the Museum's early purchases, bought from the Great Exhibition in 1851for £7 and catalogued as 'English, modern'.

Historical significance: The candelabrum perfectly reflects Pugin's policy of being inspired by, but not copying, medieval art. The design is based on late Gothic brass produced in centres like Nuremberg in Germany and Dinant in Belgium, which Pugin had visited on his trips to Europe. The lobed foot and twisted stem hark back to ecclesiastical metalwork of the fifteenth century but the spray of branches set with glass beads is a Pugin invention.

Historical context note

Pugin oversaw much of the decoration of the Palace of Westminster, where highly reflective brass lighting complements the primary colours and gilding of the interior architecture. Pugin designed candlesticks and wall-lights at an early age understanding that they derived their true proportions and visual impact when equipped with lit candles . They should 'take the light well and sparkle'.

Descriptive line

Candelabrum, brass with six branches, designed by AWN Pugin and made by John hardman and Company, Birmingham, ca. 1846

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

Paul Atterbury ed., A.W.N. Pugin, Master of the Gothic Revival, The Bard Graduate Center for the Decorative Arts, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995, cat. 143
Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright eds., Pugin, A Gothic Passion, Yale University Press, New Haven and London in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1994, pp. 172-184 (ill. pl. 340)
Angus Patterson, 'All That Glisters: Selections From the V&A's Base Metals Collections', The British Antique Dealers' Association Fair Handbook 2004-5 / Burlington Magazine, BADA 2004, p. 4
North, Anthony, R.E., "Contrasts: English Gothic Revival Wares in Brass", Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Volume 14, June 2006, p. 35, Fig. 11

Exhibition History

The Victoria and Albert Museum: Art and Design For All (Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn 18/11/2011-15/04/2012)
The Victoria and Albert Museum: Art and Design For All (Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest 14/06/2012-16/09/2012)
The Arts of the Victorians (Hankyu 01/01/1992-31/12/1993)
Pugin: A Gothic Passion (Victoria & Albert Museum 01/06/1994-30/09/1994)
BADA Fair (01/03/2004-31/03/2004)
Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations (Crystal Palace 01/01/1851-31/12/1851)

Labels and date

BADA 2004 Exhibition label:
CANDELABRUM
Brass and glass, England, 1846, designed by AWN Pugin (1812-52), made by Hardman and Co.
This magnificent six-light candelabrum was part of a series designed by AWN Pugin in 1846. A fine example of the Gothic Revival style, which Pugin championed, it was designed to go in the rebuilt Houses of Parliament. It was made by Pugin's preferred manufacturer, the Birmingham firm of John Hardman and Co. This was one of the Museum's early purchases, bought from the Great Exhibition in 1851for £7 and catalogued as 'English, modern'.
2740-1851 [March 2004]

Associated Events

Great exhibition

Materials

Glass; Brass

Techniques

Engraving; Casting

Categories

Metalwork; Lighting; Great Exhibition

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O7754
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