Antique Silver Chamberstick
Maker: Richard Morton
A handsome antique sterling silver chamber stick with gadroon borders and removable candle snuffer and sconce. Good plain style. Each...
A handsome antique sterling silver chamber stick with gadroon borders and removable candle snuffer and sconce. Good plain style. Each piece with a hand engraved monogram in old fashioned script. Weight 339 grams, 10.9 troy ounces. Height 10 cms. Diameter 14.5 cms. All matching. Sheffield 1809. Maker Richard Morton & Co.
Literature: Chambersticks first made an appearance in the 17th century and early examples are now very hard to find. Originally they were made in sets as a household would need many chambersticks. They were used for lighting the way to bed and because of the movement created when they were carried about they needed a large drip pan to catch the wax. The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superceded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle. Gradually the design evolved and from the mid 18th century onwards they usually had a matching conical snuffer although from about 1790 onwards some were made with an aperture at the base of the stem to take a pair of scissor snuffers.
This attractive chamberstick is in very good condition with no restoration. Every piece is original, fully marked with English silver hallmarks and matching. There is a small old solder repair to the candle snuffer (see photo). 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: Richard Morton
Richard Morton was one of the few Sheffield manufacturers who produced silverware prior to the establishment of the Sheffield Assay Office. He is recorded as a working silversmith in 1768 in partnership with William Clayton. His mark “RM” was entered on 16th September 1773, possibly in partnership with John Winter. A fortnight later the two marks “R.M” and “RM & Co” were entered by Richard Morton, Thomas Warris, John Winter, Samuel Roberts, John Elam, Thomas Settle, John Eyre and Nathaniel Smith. It is on record that this firm was not to produce silver candlesticks, that branch of the trade being reserved for John Winter. There may well have been covenants as to non-production of certain other items as all of the partners except Morton and Warris also comprised the partnership of Samuel Roberts & Co. who registered their mark on the same day. The Assay Office day-books show that John Winter & Co. produced buckles as well as their main product of candlesticks, the latter being the sole output of their successors John Parsons & Co. Samuel Roberts & Co's main output was silver handles, but they too produced candlesticks. Richard Morton & Co. manufactured a wide range of products, but noticeably not candlesticks, buckles or silver handles.
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