Queen Anne Antique Silver Candlesticks
Maker: Thomas Merry
A fine pair of early English cast silver candlesticks of unusually good size and weight. Britannia standard silver*. Good plain...
A fine pair of early English cast silver candlesticks of unusually good size and weight. Britannia standard silver*. Good plain design with circular bases and octagonal stems.
Weight 1051 grams, 33.7 troy ounces.
Height 21 cm. Base 13.2 cm.
Hand engraved to the top of each base is the crest of a lion.
Maker probably Thomas Merry – see Jackson’s Gold & Silver Marks page 162.
Marks. Stamped underneath with a full set of matching English silver hallmarks.
*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 pure. 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.
Literature: Few domestic silver candlesticks still exist before the reign of Charles II and 17th century examples are usually made from sheet silver and are light in weight. Cast candlesticks started to appear circa 1685 and are much heavier in weight. The first loaded candlesticks appeared circa 1765 and are made of sheet silver, and not cast.
The silver candle holders are in very good condition.
Maker: Thomas Merry
Thomas Merry I (active 1701-c.1724). Apprenticed to Henry Grant in 1693 and turned over to John Laughton, a specialist candlestick maker in 1695. Thomas married in 1699 before becoming free in 1701. His first mark was entered in 1701 as smallworker. Livery 1712. Churchwarden of St John Zachary 1714. Thomas, like his master John Laughton. specialised in making candlesticks and tapersticks. Many of these were fashioned in the octagonal design popular at the time.
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