The George IV candlesticks are conceived in the 1820s French antique manner as festive tripodic altars, whose vase-capped and ivy-wreathed pillars are attended by the light-deity Apollo's sacred swans and carried on Venus scallop-shells enwreathed by fruits-of-the-sea.
The original pattern, to be executed in silver with golden enrichments, was invented in the mid-1820s by the court Goldsmiths Philip Rundell and John Bridge, and appears to have been commissioned for Cleveland House, St. James's by Harriet, wife of George Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquis of Stafford and later Duke of Sutherland (d.1833). It appears to have been her candlesticks that inspired the design of the celebrated 'Duchess of Sutherland Table' exhibited by the cabinet-makers Morant & Co. at the 1851 Great Exhibition and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum (C. Hartop, Royal Goldsmiths: The Art of Rundell & Bridge, London, 2005, fig. 125; and J. Meyer, Great Exhibitions, Woodbridge, 2006, p. 29, fig. A18).
A pair of parcel-gilt candlesticks of this model by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, dated 1825, was sold by the Trustees of the Knole Estates, Christie's, London, 20 May 1987, lot 134.