A Highly Important Set of Four George II Candlesticks
A Highly Important Set of Four George II Candlesticks

PAUL CRESPIN (born 1694)

A Highly Important Set of Four George II Candlesticks

1745 United Kingdom

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A Set of four George II silver-gilt candlesticks, London 1745, maker's mark of Paul Crespin
Designed by William Kent. The crests are those of Clinton, for Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton (1720-1794), 9th Earl of Lincoln K.G., later 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne.
Numbered 1-4 and with scratch weights 43=11, 44=12, 43= 5 ½ and 43=12.
On square bases with cut corners cast and chased with borders of acanthus leaf-tips below furled double-shells linked by scrolls. The lower stems with bellflower swags rising to leaf-capped octagonal knops. The fluted squared baluster stems rising from acanthus spaced by berried bud pendants. The tapered cylindrical capitals similarly decorated and topped by bands of Vitruvian scrolls and gadrooned rims. The tops of the bases each engraved with the crest, Garter, motto and Earl's coronet. The candlesticks marked under base rims.
Henry Pelham-Clinton, 9th Earl of Lincoln, 2nd Duke Newcastle-Under-Lyne
Henry Pelham-Clinton (1720-1794) was born in London, second son of Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln, and his wife Lucy Pelham, sister of Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle. His father died in 1728 and his elder brother two years later, making Henry the 9th Earl of Lincoln at the age of 10. He was raised by his guardian the 1st Duke of Newcastle, who was childless and regarded Lord Lincoln his heir.
Upon completion of his education at Cambridge, Lord Lincoln travelled to Italy for his Grand Tour. While studying fencing in Turin he was joined by his schoolmate Horace Walpole and it is rumored that the two friends had a young romantic tryst. The pair quarreled and Lord Lincoln returned to England; the friends never reconciled. Lord Lincoln, who was considered one of the most handsome men in England, turned his sights towards his first cousin, Catherine Pelham (1727-1760), daughter of Henry Pelham, who was Prime Minister 1743-1754. The couple married in 1744, and produced four sons before her death at the age of 33. He never remarried. Through this union, Lincoln became heir to both of his uncles, two of the most powerful and influential political leaders in the country. He was made a gentleman of the King’s Bedchamber, and in 1752 a Knight of the Garter. In 1768 he became the 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne upon the death of his uncle.
Unlike his uncles, the 2nd Duke chose to distance himself from politics, yet maintained considerable influence through the control of parliamentary seats. He died in 1794, his greatest legacy being the construction of his estate, Clumber Park, in Nottinghamshire. Created on four thousand acres of land inherited from the 1st Duke, the lavish grounds and house were begun in 1768. The house was twice destroyed by fire in 1879 and 1912, and eventually abandoned in the early 1930s. While the house was demolished in 1938, the park is presently owned by the National Trust.
William Kent: Politics And Patronage
Although the 2nd Duke preferred country life to politics, he was raised in the centre of powerful Whig circles, and would have been keenly aware of how patronage could influence public image. His family maintained a close relationship with renowned architect and designer William Kent (1685-1748), whose career was undoubtedly furthered though promotion by the Pelham family. The 2nd Duke's father-in-law, Henry Pelham, was Kent’s earliest political patron, having hired Kent to design the interiors of his London residence at 32 Old Burlington Street starting in 1722. Pelham called on Kent once again in 1741 to design another residence at 22 Arlington Street. In 1725 Kent had been “employ’d in making vast Alterations” at Newcastle House in Lincoln’s Inn Fields for the 1st Duke. Four years later he was commissioned to work on the duke’s country estate, Claremont, of which the duke was exceedingly proud (ed. S. Weber, William Kent Designing Georgian Britain, New Haven and London, 2013, p. 75). As Lord Lincoln the 2nd Duke employed Kent at Oatlands Park, his country estate in Surrey in the 1740s (M. Symes, “New Light on Oatlands Park in the Eighteenth Century,” Garden History, Vol 9, No. 2 (Autumn 1981) p. 136). Furthermore, at the urging of the Pelham brothers, Robert Walpole hired Kent to design the interiors of Houghton Hall in Norfolk around 1725, which was described by Sir Thomas Robinson as “the best house in the world for its size, capable of the greatest reception for company.” (ed. Weber, pp. 75-76).

'2 Pr Fine Candlesticks'
Published by John Vardy in 1744, Some Designs of Mr. Inigo Jones and Mr. William Kent, illustrates thirteen plates of Kent’s design for metalwork. Many of the plates were drawn with scale bars and all of the pieces known to have been executed to Kent’s designs include such bars. The presence of the scale bars proposes that those designs were likely realized in silver or gold. The majority of existing plate known to have been designed by Kent was made by George Wickes, including a 1736 gold cup for Colonel James Pelham (1683-1761), Private Secretary to Frederick, Prince of Wales and second cousin of both the 1st Duke of Newcastle and Henry Pelham (ed. Weber, p. 528).

The present lot is thought to have been adapted from Vardy’s plate 21, a Kent-designed candlestick featuring a shaped base cast with acanthus leaf-tips spaced by beaded scrolls, and rising to a knop of owl heads (the owl heads may be a reference to night and sleep; similar owl heads are featured on a suite of furniture designed by Kent for Lady Burlington’s Summer Parlor at Chiswick House. See ed. Weber, p. 538). From the owl heads rise a squared fluted stem and attenuated sconce with further acanthus. Kent’s design for this model was realized in a set of four candlesticks made by Paul Crespin in 1741 for an unknown patron and presently in the collection of Castle Howard. In creating the present lot, Crespin edited Kent’s design by eliminating the owl heads and simplifying the base, perhaps to accommodate his patron’s taste or as an attempt to reduce the technical difficulties involved in the actualization of such a complex design (See J. Lomax, “Silver at Castle Howard: Three Hundred Years of Investment and Fashion” The Art Quarterly of the NACF, No. 9 (Spring 1992), p. 33).
As Lord Lincoln the 2nd Duke likely purchased the present set of candlesticks on the occasion of his 1744 marriage to Catherine Pelham. As the couple’s families were major patrons of Kent’s work, and the couple had a close relationship with the architect himself, even receiving gifts in Kent’s will, it is not surprising that they would select plate based on Kent’s designs. In December 1757 then Lord Lincoln commissioned from Wakelin a 'pair of ‘large fine chais’d candlesticks &nozles’ weighing 88 ozs 8 dwt. The very next entry in the firm’s ledger lists 'doing up 2 pr fine candlesticks &nozils…£2 10 s’, followed by ‘a red leather case for six candlesticks’. Presumably all six candlesticks were of identical size and form, with the ‘2 pr fine candlesticks &nozils’ referencing the set of four candlesticks made by Crespin in 1745, and serving as the models for the additional pair to be created by Wakelin.
As fashionable taste was beginning to shift away from rococo and towards a revival of classical iconography, Wakelin saw the opportunity to rebrand Kent’s Palladian candlestick design as neo-classical. In 1757 he cast four additional candlesticks in this model for George William, 6th Earl of Coventry (see Christie’s Review of the Season, 1985, and The Glory of the Goldsmith: Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection,” Christie’s, London, 1989, no. 101). The candlesticks were installed at Lord Coventry’s country house, Croome Court, which was refurnished by a young Robert Adam starting in 1760. Lord Coventry’s candlesticks, which have since been described as ‘possibly the earliest English neo-classical candlestick’, were sold Christie’s New York, 11 April 2003, lot 302 and thence split between the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 1768 Lord Lincoln became the 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne upon the death of his uncle. In 1775 he commissioned another pair of candlesticks from Parker and Wakelin recorded in their ledger as ‘a pair of fine candlesticks and nozs. After Kent…. 95ozs. 8 dwts @14/-…£66 15s 7d’. Likewise entries for eight ‘Fine Chased candles’ are listed with scratch weights matching those of the four 1745 candlesticks by Crespin and the 1757 and 1775 pairs made to match in Clumber’s ‘Inventory of Plate Belonging to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle Taken at Clumber 25 August 1791 by Wakelin and Tyler Goldsmiths Panton Street London’ preserved at the University of Nottingham.

In 1810 the 3rd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne commissioned Paul Storr to fit his pairs of 1757 and 1775 candlesticks with removable two-branch tops. Storr presumably cast additional models at this time; a set of four candlesticks by Storr dated 1814-15 are on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Another set of four dated 1815, comprising part of the extensive Sutton service, were sold Christie’s London, 31 March 1976, lot 86.

On 7 July 1921, Christie’s London auctioned the silver-gilt plate removed from Clumber, Worksop on behalf of the 7th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne. All eight matching candlesticks were sold in two lots; lot 53 was catalogued as ‘Four Table-Candlesticks, with octagonal stems and plinths chased with foliage and shells – By Paul Crespin, 1745’, and lot 54 as ‘Four Ditto, similar – by Edward Wakelin, 1757, and Wakelin and Taylor, 1755 – fitted with branches to form candelabra for three lights each- 1810’. The later matching pairs were offered again Sotheby’s, New York, 5 November 1986, lot 185.



Henry Fiennes Pelham-Clinton (1720-1794), 9th Earl of Lincoln and 2nd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne; thence by direct family descent until sold;
The Property of His Grace The Duke of Newcastle and removed from Clumber Worksop, Christie's, London, 7 July 1921, lot 53.
The Collection of Colonel H. H. Mulliner; Christie's, London, 9 July 1924, lot 25 (a pair).
Henry Carnegie Phipps (1879-1953) and Gladys Livingston Mills (1883-1970).
Ogden Phipps (1908-2002).
Ogden Mills Phipps (1940-2016).
H.H. Mulliner, The Decorative Arts in England During the Late XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries, London, 1923, fig. 125
J.F. Hayward, "Silver made from the designs of William Kent, The Connoisseur, June 1970, pp. 106-110
E. Barr, George Wickes Royal Goldsmith 1698-1761, London, 1980, p. 102-103
ed. S. Weber, William Kent Designing Georgian Britain, New Haven and London, 2013, p. 539
Dimensions
Height 29.80 cm (11.73 inches)
Weight 5190.50g (166.90oz t)
Stock Code
DT20.11.1
Medium
Silver-Gilt
Signed/Inscribed
Excellent
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