A rare, pair of late-17th century, walnut candlestands decorated with marquetry inlays

A rare, pair of late-17th century, walnut candlestands decorated with marquetry inlays

1675 to 1700 Flemish

Offered by Lucy Johnson

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The hexagonal shaped-tops, one screw and the other fixed, decorated with eight pieces of veneer. The stems with a variety of turnings. The octagonal columns and the scroll legs decorated with inlaid floral marquetry designs executed in sycamore, boxwood and pearwood. Minor repairs. Excellent configuration, original colour and patina. Dutch, last quarter of the 17th century.

Due to their utalitarian nature, surviving pairs of 17th century candlestands are extremely rare and generally only seen today in great houses. The quality of the marquetry decoration and the attention to detail indicate that these candlestands were probably made for a substantial household.

Moveable stands to support a candlestick or lamp were intended to supplement the fixed lighting arrangements of rooms. The evidence of inventories suggests that they did not become common in France until about 1650 when they accompanied fine tables and cabinets. Such stands, being sometimes in the form of gueridons.

The fashion for decorative candlestands spread rapidly after the Restoration, when they were often made en-suite to flank a sidetable with a mirror above. Such sets are mentioned in lists of household goods and by contemporary writers. In 1664, for instance, Mary Verney is anxious to obtain “a table and stands of the same coler”. The Academy of Armory, published in 1688, defines a candle-stand as a “little round table, set upon one pillar or poste which in the foote branches itselfe out into three or four feete or toes ... for its fast and steddy standing”.

The ordinary form under Charles II was a plain or spiral baluster, circular or octagonal top and tripod base. Walnut and elm were commonly employed and the most extravagant type was entirely covered with silver, such as at Knowle and Windsor Castle. Towards the end of the 17th century a greater variety of patterns were introduced, and ornamental stands of carved and gilt wood inspired by French design became fashionable. The tops became vase-shaped and the tapered standards were enriched with gadrooning and husks, the elaborate scrolling of the feet being a noticeable feature.
Height 88.00 cm (34.65 inches)
Walnut, sycamore, boxwood, pearwood
Lucy Johnson

Lucy Johnson
Mailing address: Bartons Lodge
Berry End
MK17 9EB

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