• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 329

    A PAIR OF GEORGE II PAKTONG CANDLESTICKS

    CIRCA 1750

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF GEORGE II PAKTONG CANDLESTICKS
    CIRCA 1750
    Each with shell-cast drip pan, lobed trumpet stem and squared stepped base with shell corners, the drip pans removable, silver form
    10 in. (25.5 cm.) high (2)


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    Paktong, a name derived from the Chinese word meaning white copper, is a rare non-tarnishing alloy of copper, nickel and tin or zinc. Also known as 'Tutenag' or 'India metal' on account of its importation by the East India Trading Companies, it originated in China and although it first arrived in London in the 1720s, it was developed by the Chinese much earlier. The principal advantage of paktong is that while resembling silver, it is unaffected by atmospheric conditions, and can be easily cast, hammered and polished. Similar shell-based candlesticks are illustrated in K. Pinn, Paktong, The Chinese Alloy in Europe 1680-1820, Woodbridge, 1999, p. 89, pl. 45-46.

    Provenance

    With Mark and Marjorie Allen, New Hampshire.