Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery

Candelabrum

ca. 1846 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

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'.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Cast brass and glass
Brief description
Candelabrum, brass with six branches, designed by AWN Pugin and made by John hardman and Company, Birmingham, ca. 1846
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 71.0cm
  • Width: 45.7cm
Style
Gallery label
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)
Object history
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
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'.
Association
Summary
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'.
Bibliographic references
  • 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
Collection
Accession number
2740-1851

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Record createdJune 1, 1998
Record URL
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