William III Silver Snuffer Scissors


Stock: 9759

Date: 1701

Maker: Thomas Brydon

Country: England

A rare early English silver candle douter, also called a wick trimmer, with the simple plain style typical of the...

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A rare early English silver candle douter, also called a wick trimmer, with the simple plain style typical of the period. *Britannia standard silver. Weight 94 grams, 3 troy ounces. Length 15.9cm. Width 5.5cm. London 1701. Few snuffers were made prior to 1700. Maker Thomas Brydon, see Jackson’s Silver & Gold Marks page 154, a known snuffers and stand maker.

*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.

Literature. Two different types of candle douters were used to extinguish the flame of a candle. The extinguisher which was a small cone on the end of a long handle and the snuffer which was a dual purpose scissor like tool which could extinguish the candle flame and also cut the wick of the candle for reuse. There were few snuffers made prior to 1700 and by the early nineteenth century more refined candles were introduced which no longer required the wick to be cut. Additional information available at http://www.oldandinteresting.com/tallow-candles-snuffers.aspx.


The snuffer scissors are in very good condition. Stamped with a full set of English silver hallmarks inside the snuffer box on one side, on the other side with maker and lion marks, to the top side with the Britannia and lion marks. The scissors snap shut and are very usable. 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 Information

Maker: Thomas Brydon

Thomas Brydon, London silver maker, apprenticed to William Brett of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, free 1688. Only mark entered as largeworker undated, probably 1697.

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