• 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 140

    A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER CANDLESTICKS

    MARK OF PETER ARCHAMBO, LONDON, 1744

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF GEORGE II SILVER CANDLESTICKS
    MARK OF PETER ARCHAMBO, LONDON, 1744
    Each on elaborately shaped square base with multiple moldings, the corners with masks and cartouches, rising to a faceted stem also with masks and shells at the shoulder, the socket with stiff-leaf calyx, each with removable nozzle cast with flowers and shells, the bases engraved with a later coat-of-arms and motto, the underside of base engraved with monogram A/T.M., marked under bases and on sockets, the nozzles apparently unmarked
    9 in. (22.9 cm.) high; 53 oz. (1,650 gr.) (2)


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    The arms are those of Hilton, presumably for John Hilton (d.1746) of Hilton Castle, Durham. Hilton was M.P. of Carlisle in 1727.

    John Hilton, the last Baron Hilton, never married, and his title died with him. This title was of great antiquity and, indeed, was never granted by the Crown, but instead appears to have been a traditional courtesy reflecting the family's leading position in the community. John Hilton made great improvements to Hilton Castle. According to a contemporary account, "The present gentleman, John Hilton, Esq., a regular descendant of this ancient family, lives in the place of his ancestors, which he adorned and beautified beyond what was done in past ages; in particular the chapel, famous in the country for its Irish wood, is so furnished with plate and books and other necessaries that it merits the character of a very beautiful chapel." (H. Bourne, The History of Newcastle upon Tyne, or, the Ancient and Present State of that Town, 1736, p. 82).

    John Hilton is also noteworthy as the employer of the last private jester kept by an English family. On one occasion, Hilton returned home from an expedition to London wearing a gaudy gold-embroidered suit in the latest fashion. Upon Hilton's arrival at his castle, his fool took one look at him and inquired, "Who's the fool now?" (Doran, The History of Court Fools, 1858, p. 91.)

    Provenance

    Christie's, London, 27 November 1974, lot 144
    Christie's, London, 29 November 2007, lot 560
    With Alastair Dickenson, London


    Exhibited

    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, The Laing Art Gallery, 1969-1974