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A design for a silver or ormolu candlestick branches.
  • A design for a silver or ormolu candlestick branches.
    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796
  • Enlarge image

A design for a silver or ormolu candlestick branches.

  • Place of origin:

    England

  • Date:

    1770

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (designer)
    Yenn, John, born 1750 - died 1832 (Maker, Designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, pen and ink and wash on laid paper, watermarked with a W, perhaps for J. Whatman.

  • Museum number:

    E.5031-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 229, box E

Physical description

A drawing of a silver or ormolu candlestick branches. Profile. Shown full size 190 x 210 mm (one branch).

Place of Origin

England

Date

1770

Artist/maker

Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (designer)
Yenn, John, born 1750 - died 1832 (Maker, Designer)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, pen and ink and wash on laid paper, watermarked with a W, perhaps for J. Whatman.

Dimensions

Height: 222 mm, Width: 366 mm

Object history note

A design for a silver or ormolu candlestick branches.
The branches spring from an acanthus calyx and have acanthus and reeded decoration as have the nozzles. Between them is a vase holding a third candle. They are set in a candlestick nozzle exactly the same as E.5030-1910. The drawing has been cut just below the start of the nozzle and across half of the left hand arm.
This candlestick branches are for use in the candlestick E.5030-1910, the branches design however are in a neoclassical style of circa 1770 and may show an updating of the existing candlestick to a later style. The branches are very close in design to those of the ormolu and bluejohn vases designed by Chambers and made by Matthew Boulton in 1770- 1771.
Bought together with 72 other drawings from Major H. Bateman via J. Starkie Gardner on the 29th November 1910, for £ 37-0-0.
A drawing of a similar pair of branches is at the RIBA (VOS/89, page 24. Young 1986, fig.34).

Chambers was born in Sweden and died in London. He travelled widely, visiting China, and studied architecture at the Ecole des Arts, Paris, from 1749 and in Italy from 1750 to 1755. Many of his drawings from this period are contained in his important 'Franco-Italian' album, held in the V&A. Chambers moved to London in 1755 and published his influential Treatise on Civil Architecture in 1759. Chambers demonstrated the breadth of his style in buildings such as Gower (later Carrington) House and Melbourne House, London, in such country houses as Duddingston, Scotland, and in the garden architecture he designed for Wilton House, Wiltshire, and at Kew Gardens. He became head of government building in 1782, and in this capacity built Somerset House, London.
Chambers also designed furniture and silver. The silver is usually linked to clients for whom he was also designing architectural schemes.
The designs for silver are all in the hand of the architect John Yenn, who was a pupil of Chambers, for whom he became a leading draughtsman, working for him from 1764 until the late 1770s, when he began to practice on his own account.

Descriptive line

A design for a silver or ormolu candlestick branches, by John Yenn, after Sir William Chambers, c. 1770

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

‘The silver designs of Sir William Chambers: a resumé and recent discoveries’, The Silver Society Journal, Vol. 7, 1995, pp. 335-341.

‘Sir William Chambers and John Yenn; designs for silver’, Burlington Magazine, Vol. 128, No. 994, January 1986, pp. 31-35, fig 39.

‘Silver, Ormolu and ceramics ‘ in John Harris and Michael Snodin (eds), Sir William Chambers , Architect to George III, 1996, pp. 149-162, fig 212.

‘Sir William Chambers; Catalogues of Architectural Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum’ Michael Snodin (ed), 1996, cat 856.

Materials

Material; Pencil; Grey wash

Techniques

Technique; Painting

Subjects depicted

Elevation; Candelabras

Categories

Designs; Drawings; Metalwork; Silver; Silver Designs; English

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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