William III Silver Chamberstick
Maker: Pierre Harache
A rare early English silver chamberstick (or “go to bed”) with the solid design and heavy gauge silver you'd expect...
A rare early English silver chamberstick (or “go to bed”) with the solid design and heavy gauge silver you’d expect from this date. Sterling silver. It has the early form with flat teardrop handle. The circular pan has a gadrooned border and ribbed sconce, all mounted on three small stump feet. Hand engraved to the centre are 3 ornamental cyphers.
Weight 222 grams, 7.1 troy ounces.
Diameter 10.8 cm, 4.25 inches. Length 17 cms.
Maker Pierre Harache.
Literature: The hand engraved ornamental cyphers, presumably family members’, are typical of the 1690-1720 period and very similar to those on the 1695 toilet set by Pierre Harache – see photo.
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 The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superseded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle.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.
The silver chamberstick is in very good condition. Heavy quality and superb colour. The ciphers still have good definition with slight wear. Stamped underneath with a set of English silver hallmarks, the makers mark has been double struck, the sconce has the lion mark. There are a few minor indentations on the top surface and a small dent under the rim. 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: Pierre Harache
Many members of the Harache family of goldsmiths, being of the Huguenot faith, came to London from France during the period 1667-1681 to avoid persecution. The family was active in the production of fine silver plate for about a hundred years and was responsible for some of England’s most important silversmithing of the time. Pierre (Peter) Harache came to England in c.1680 and became free of the Goldsmiths Company in 1682. First mark (Sterling) in use in 1683. He took Simon Pantin as apprentice in 1686. Livery 1687. New Standard mark as largeworker, undated, probably 1697. Died c.1700. Pierre Harache’s work is of the highest standard in both design and execution. He used cut card work and applied decoration as well as engraving. His fine craftsmanship is evident in the many pieces currently held in British collections such as: Set of 4 candlesticks 1683 (Althorpe Abbey) Cut card porringer 1695 (Ashmolean Museum) Chocolate pot 1695 (formerly Noble collection) Toilet Set 1695 (Marquess of Exeter) Gold porringer and stand 1691 (Duke of Brunswick) Important ewer and dish 1697 (British Museum) Wine cistern of the Barber Surgeon’s Company Pair of pilgrim bottles 1699 (Eton College)
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