- Place of origin:
ca. 1765 (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Credit Line:
Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons Bequest
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
Metalware, room 116, case 2
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.
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
ca. 1765 (made)
Materials and Techniques
Marks and inscriptions
Engraved with a crest on the socket.
Height: 10.5 in, Width: 4.625 in
One of a pair of candlesticks, paktong, decorated with a band of gadrooning and baluster stems twisted at the lower end, English, ca. 1765