Queen Anne Antique Silver Tapersticks


Stock: 10232

Date: 1712

Maker: Joseph Bird

Country: England

A rare pair of dainty little antique silver tapersticks with the desirable octagonal shape. Superb quality. Lovely crisp finish. The...

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A rare pair of dainty little antique silver tapersticks with the desirable octagonal shape. Superb quality. Lovely crisp finish. The straight lined form features a faceted sconce and foot and a plain knopped tapering stem.

Total weight 200 grams, 6.4 troy ounces.
Height 12cm. Base diameter 7.1cm.
London 1712.
Maker Joseph Bird.
Britannia standard silver.
18th century.

Marks. Both stamped underneath with a full set of matching English silver hallmarks.

Literature. Tapersticks, averaging about 5 inches high are miniature table candlesticks used to hold a wax taper. They are rarer than candlesticks and very few exist 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.


These lovely tapersticks are in very good condition with a minimum amount of wear commensurate with their age. Excellent sharp finish.

Maker Information

Maker: Joseph Bird

Joseph Bird (active before 1685, died 1735), London silversmith, free of the Brewers Company sometime prior to 1685. Largeworker. He entered 2 undated marks circa 1697 at the address in Foster Lane where he continued to work throughout his career. 3rd mark no date or address attributed. 4th (sterling) 1724. Some of his marks incorporate a little bird which is very charming. Joseph Bird was a specialist candlestick maker who passed down his skills to his apprentice David Green and through Green to James Gould who in turn was master to John Cafe. A worthy line of distinguished candlestick makers.

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