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Candlestick

Candlestick

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1765 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Paktong

  • Credit Line:

    Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons Bequest

  • Museum number:

    M.1092-1926

  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, room 116, case 2

  • Download image

The material used to make these candlesticks, paktong, is named according to the Cantonese pronunciation of the Chinese pai-t’ung, meaning white copper. The term is applied to any yellow or whitish alloy of copper, nickel and tin or zinc. Paktong began to be imported into Europe from China in the 18th century.

Throughout the 18th century the most popular method of production for brass candlesticks was to cast the entire socket, stem and base in two halves and solder the two together. The two lines running vertically down the ‘stick’ can be seen quite distinctly on candlesticks that have been vigorously cleaned. This construction method made possible elaborately stepped bases and octagonal faceted stems, but by the middle of the century, the base had been simplified.

In the mid-1760s, Neo-classicism became popular and the characteristic shape for candlesticks in this style was a straight or tapering column on a raised square or oval base. Production of brass candlesticks was further simplified by the development of a technique for casting the stem in one piece using a removable core. This allowed a much finer and thinner casting to be made for both the base and the stem. It also changed the method of extraction of the candle stump: a push-rod extractor came into use, consisting of a disc connected to an iron rod passing through the hollow stem.

These candlesticks have a square stepped foot with a band of gadrooning, a baluster stem twisted at the lower end, and a square detachable nozzle. The socket is engraved with a crest.

Physical description

The candlestick has a square stepped foot with a band of gadrooning, baluster stem twisted at the lower end, and a square detachable nozzle. The socket is engraved with a crest.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (made)

Date

ca. 1765 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Paktong

Marks and inscriptions

Engraved with a crest on the socket.

Dimensions

Height: 10.5 in, Width: 4.625 in

Descriptive line

One of a pair of candlesticks, paktong, decorated with a band of gadrooning and baluster stems twisted at the lower end, English, ca. 1765

Materials

Paktong

Subjects depicted

Gadrooning

Categories

Metalwork; Lighting

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O90612
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