Queen Anne Silver Chamberstick
Maker: Simon Pantin
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 crowned lion’s head erased between two plumes, all mounted on three small stump feet.
Weight 225 grams, 7.25 troy ounces.
Diameter 11.5 cms, 4.5 inches. Length 17 cms.
Britannia standard silver*.
By Simon Pantin.
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 The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superseded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle.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. With a full set of English silver marks, all very clear apart from the Britannia mark which is badly struck. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
Maker: Simon Pantin
Simon Pantin, from the Rouen family of goldsmiths, his first family member mentioned in England seems to be Esaie 'Pontin' who married Elizabeth Maubert 3 October 1658 at the French Church Threadneedle Street, both being described as 'natif(ve)de Rouen'. Esaie remarried in 1666 as widower, Marie Bouquet, widow of Isaac Maubert, perhaps his brother-in-law. By his first marriage, Esaie had a son, also Esaie, baptized 4 March 1660, who would seem to be the Esaie Pantin, goldsmith of St. James's, Westminster, recorded by Heal, 1709, but for whom there is no entry of a mark. His daughter married Peter Courtauld in 1709. It would seem highly likely that Simon Pantin was another son of Esaie I and younger brother of Esaie II. Unfortunately, the record of his apprenticeship to Peter Harrache has not survived. He was free by apprenticeship to the latter 4 June 1701. This would put his indentures at about 1694, and his likely birth about 1680. He is presumably the Simon Pantin who appears in the Denization List, 16 December 1687, and as witness to the baptism of Suzanne de Joncourt at Threadneedle Street Church, 12 December 1697. First mark entered as largeworker, 23 June 1701. Address: St. Martin's Lane. Second mark, 16 September 1717. Address Castle Street. Third mark (Sterling), 30 June 1720, same address. Livery, October 1712. His name appears in the Naturalization Act 1709 as Simon Pantin, goldsmith, St. Martin in the Fields, witnesses Paul Beauvais and Henry Riboteau, and Pantin in turn as witness to four others. Heal records show him as plateworker, Peacock Street, Martin's Lane, 1699-1701; St. Martin in the Fields, 1709-11; and as removed to Peacock, Castle Street, Leicester Fields 1717 till death in 1728. The Peacock is included in his marks. Listed by Evans as Huguenot.
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