George II Silver Harlequin Taperstick


Stock: 9440

Date: Circa 1760

Maker: William Cafe

Country: England

A rare and very charming antique silver taper stick, the stem modelled in the form of Harlequin. Cast silver. Excellent...

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A rare and very charming antique silver taper stick, the stem modelled in the form of Harlequin. Cast silver. Excellent quality. Lovely patina.

Weight 134 grams, 4.3 troy ounces.
Height 13.5cm. Diameter of base 6.6cm.
London circa 1760.
Maker William Cafe.
Sterling silver.

This candlestick was produced over a period of about ten years, mainly by William Café and his brother John.

Marks Stamped underneath the edge of the base with the makers mark only.

Literature. Harlequin is the most well known of the zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell’arte. Characterized by his chequered costume, his role developed over the years from a nimble and wily, covetous, comic servant into a prototype of the romantic hero.

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 superb piece of antique silver is in very good condition. Excellent patina.

Maker Information

Maker: William Cafe

William Café, apprenticed to his brother John Café 1742, turned himself over to Simon Jouet 1746. Free 1757. Livery 1758. Mark entered as largeworker 1757, probably on the death of his brother John. Both William and John were known for their cast candlesticks. Known apprentices were Thomas Neale in 1777 and William’s son Thomas in 1784. William died circa 1802-1811.

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