A rare pair of early English silver candlesticks. Britannia standard silver*. Lovely plain style and broad bases. Very solid and heavy cast metal with knopped and baluster vase shaped stems and square hollowed out bases with canted corners. Each bears matching two crests and mottos (only traces), possibly marriage crests. One motto, although indistinct, reads "True To The End". Excellent colour. These candlesticks are remarkable for their size and weight. Weight 951 grams, 30.5 troy ounces. Height 17.5 cms. Base 11 cms square. London 1706. Maker John Eckfourd, known for his tobacco boxes.
These superb candlesticks are in very good condition with no damage or restoration. The silver hallmarks underneath are clear and easy to read and a nice feature is that each still bears faint traces of the lion head erased on the candle sconce. The engraved crests are very worn but just visible – this is not unusual for an item which has been used for several hundreds of years. More important is that the candlesticks themselves still have a crisp form. Each candlestick has a minor "lean".
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
*Britannia Standard. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.