Queen Anne Antique Silver Taperstick
Maker: John Barnard
A lovely little antique silver taperstick of plain form of plain design with knopped tapering stem and raised faceted foot....
A lovely little antique silver taperstick of plain form of plain design with knopped tapering stem and raised faceted foot. This straight lined octagonal shape is a very rare and desirable feature. Britannia standard silver*.
Weight 101 grams, 3.2 troy ounces.
Height 12cm. Base diameter 6.7cm.
Maker John Barnard.
Marks. Stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks.
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.
*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.
This lovely taperstick is in very good condition with a few small abrasions and light scratches. There is possible, very faint, trace of an armorial crest to the base.
Maker: John Barnard
John Barnard, London silversmith, apprenticed 1677 to Thomas Dymick, free 1685. First two marks entered, undated, probably 1697. Third mark (sterling) entered 1720.
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