William III Antique Silver Candlesticks


Stock: 10289

Date: 1695

Maker: Edward Gibson

Country: England

A rare pair of early English silver candlesticks with square bases and lobed, gadroon decoration. Excellent quality and heavy gauge...

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A rare pair of early English silver candlesticks with square bases and lobed, gadroon decoration. Excellent quality and heavy gauge of silver. Hand engraved on the base with cypher initials below the coronet of a count (continental european). The technique of making cast silver sticks was introduced into England circa 1685 and this is one of the early designs.

Weight 605 grams, 19.4 troy ounces.
Height 14cm. Base 9.9cm.
London 1695.
Maker Edward Gibson.
Sterling silver.
17th century.

Marks. Stamped underneath in the corners with a full set of English silver hallmarks.

Literature. Few domestic antique 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. Although many early candlesticks had fixed nozzles the first cast candlesticks were made without these useful drip pans. During the period c.1735-50 candlesticks with detachable nozzles appeared which facilitated much easier cleaning.

The manufacture of these candlesticks is technically advanced for the period and shows a strong Huguenot influence. Cast silver candlesticks were first made in London during the 1680’s, the same time as the influx of Huguenot refugees fleeing French persecution. The Huguenots brought with them the superior techniques of modelling and casting needed to supply the new types of silverware in the fashionable “French” style. During that period a large quantity of Huguenot silverwares was stamped with English maker’s marks as the newly arrived foreign silversmiths took whatever work was offered, often as outworkers at very low rates of pay. It’s also possible that a Huguenot workshop was operating in London during this period supplying candlestick parts such as bases, stem sections and sockets for English workshops to assemble. Because of this it can be difficult to know from the maker’s mark whether a piece of silver from this period was made by an English or Huguenot worker and one needs to also look at the style and technique.


Both sticks are in very good condition with a small amount of wear compatible with age. Excellent patina.

Maker Information

Maker: Edward Gibson

Edward Gibson was son of John Gibson late Citizen and Carpenter of London. He was apprenticed to Thomas Tyso Citizen and Haberdasher of that company on 2nd November 1683. He was made a Freeman of the Haberdashers, 14th November 1690. His hallmark was entered as largeworker, undated, probably April 1697 on commencement of the register. His address is recorded as Bishopsgate Street. 'Free Haberdasher'. Heal records him as a plateworker, near Half Moon Alley, Bishopsgate Without, 1691-1713; and Bishopsgate Street, 1697-1721; also Mrs. Gibson, silversmith, Bishopsgate Street, 1755, perhaps a widowed daughter-in-law.

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