George I Antique Silver Chamberstick
Maker: James Fraillon
A rare early English silver chamber stick (also known as a go to bed) with the solid design and excellent...
A rare early English silver chamber stick (also known as a go to bed) with the solid design and excellent heavy gauge silver as you’d expect from this date. It has the early form with a flat teardrop handle and broad drip pan. The circular base is hand engraved with the crest of a crown over a gentleman carrying a double scythe.
Weight 399 grams, 12.8 troy ounces.
Diameter 15cm. Length 25cm.
Britannia standard silver*.
Maker James Fraillon.
Marks. With a full set of English silver marks, all very clear apart from the Britannia mark which is badly struck.
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 chamber sticks. 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 The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superseded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle.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.
*Britannia Standard silver. 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.
This superb silver chamberstick is in excellent condition. Very heavy quality and superb colour. Crisp engraving.
Maker: James Fraillon
James Fraillon (active 1706–1727/28) Huguenot silversmith. Apprenticed to Phillip Roker in 1699 and free in 1706. Mark as largeworker entered in 1711. He probably died between 1727 and 1728 when his wife Blanche entered her own mark.
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