Antique George I Silver Taperstick
Maker: Benjamin Pyne
A delightful little antique silver taper stick of plain early design with baluster stem and raised hectagonal foot. Cast silver....
A delightful little antique silver taper stick of plain early design with baluster stem and raised hectagonal foot. Cast silver. Weight 112 grams, 3.6 troy ounces. Height 11 cms. Base diameter 6.8 cms. London 1722. Maker Benjamin Pyne.
Literature: Silver tapersticks, averaging about 5 inches high, are miniature table candlesticks used to hold a wax taper. Tapersticks would typically be found on a desk as they were not used for lighting; the melted sticks of wax were used for sealing letters, to give a flame for tobacco pipes or to light large candles. They are rarer than candlesticks and very few existed prior to the Queen Anne period. They usually appear in singles and pairs of tapersticks command a premium price.
This lovely taperstick is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Excellent patina. With a full set of English silver hallmarks under the base. 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.
Maker: Benjamin Pyne
Benjamin Pyne, apprenticed to George Bowers 1667, free 1676. The maker's mark "single letter P under a crown", found shortly after 1680, appears on the 1697 copper plate at the Goldsmith's Hall, and reappears after 1720, again unentered, can safely be attributed to him. His only authenticated marks are two entered as a largeworker, undated, probably entered in 1697 on commencement of register. He held the position of Subordinate Goldsmith to the King for the coronation of George I only. His son Benjamin was apprenticed to him 21 October 1708, free 8 May 1716 and was elected Assistant Assayer in 1720. By the end of the seventeenth century Pyne was obviously, from his surviving work, a front ranking London goldsmith and shared with Anthony Nelme the main responsibility of upholding native standards against Huguenot competition, even though it's more than likely that he and Nelme employed (or bought up and remarked the work of) the latter to some extent. Nelme's connection with Hoare's bank seems to have continued for a considerable period and is perhaps responsible for the quantity of orders for municipal maces, regalia and church plate he obtained. However the end of his life was sad. On 17 January 1727, when he must have nearly been 75, he resigned from the Livery, probably due to ill health and bad eyesight, and petitioned with others for the place of Beadle to the Company, vacant by the death of John Bodington, and was elected the same day to the post.
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