Set of 4 George II Antique Silver Candlesticks
Maker: Elizabeth Godfrey
An exceptional set of antique silver candlesticks in the French Huguenot taste. Fine quality and made of heavy gauge cast...
An exceptional set of antique silver candlesticks in the French Huguenot taste. Fine quality and made of heavy gauge cast silver. The early rococo style bases are decorated with seashells, flowers and scrolls.
Total weight 2,444 grams, 78.5 troy ounces.
Height 20.3cm. Diameter of base 12.3cm.
Maker Elizabeth Godfrey.
Marks. Each is stamped underneath on the inside rim with a full set of matching English silver hallmarks, lion and makers mark on the sconce. Hand engraved to the upside of each base is a family crest – very worn. Each engraved with the scratchweight below the base.
Literature: Cast candlesticks started to appear circa 1685, these are much heavier in weight and capable of withstanding greater wear. The first loaded candlesticks appeared circa 1765 and are made of sheet, and not cast.
All in very good condition. All the engraved crests have loss of definition.
Maker: Elizabeth Godfrey
Eliza didn’t have a formal apprenticeship, instead she must have learnt her trade as a child in the family’s London workshop belonging to her father Simon Pantin (born c.1680 died 1728). Pantin was a leading Huguenot goldsmith with a prestigious clientele and examples of his fine work can be seen in major museums and collections worldwide. Eliza’s marriage in 1720 to London silversmith Abraham Buteaux (born 1698), godson of David Pantin, will have allowed her to continue her craft skills. It's likely that Buteaux worked with one of the Huguenot workshops, and his work bears similarity to that of Simon Pantin – mainly plain cups, other hollow-ware and salvers. When Buteaux died in circa 1731 Eliza continued the business and entered her own widow’s mark as Elizabeth Buteaux. The following year in 1732 Eliza married Benjamin Godfrey, Abraham Buteaux’s former journeyman, and Godfrey entered his first mark. His work displays strong Huguenot influences in design and fine execution, just as one would expect from such a prestigious family workshop, his later works incorporating rococo designs. Godfrey appears to have died in 1741 when Eliza entered her second widow’s mark as Elizabeth Godfrey. She was active until at least 1766 and her work was known for its high quality and sophisticated style. Her trade card described herself as “Goldsmith, Silversmith and Jeweller to the Duke of Cumberland” and her success is evident by the considerable quality and quantity of her surviving work. A significant number of strong and powerful female silversmiths achieved successful careers during the 18th century, a time when women enjoyed very few rights, especially in a male dominated industry. The Goldsmith’s Company records 63 women silversmiths working between 1697 and the Victorian era.
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