• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2004

    Important English, Continental and American Silver

    22 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 145

    A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER-GILT FOUR-LIGHT CANDELABRA

    MARK OF PAUL STORR, LONDON, 1808

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER-GILT FOUR-LIGHT CANDELABRA
    MARK OF PAUL STORR, LONDON, 1808
    Each on circular base with tongue-and-dart border and foliate diaperwork with shells at intervals, the fluted base supporting a tapering square stem with lappet band and shell and acanthus shoulder, the fluted campana-form socket with conforming foliate diaperwork, the detachable three-arm branch with reeded, acanthus-clad stems with paterae, supporting three tongue-and-dart waxpans, leaf-clad sockets and gadrooned nozzles, the central baluster-form standard supporting a conforming socket, with detachable ivy and berry bud finial, engraved with a crest and motto on one candlestick, two large nozzles, two finials, five wax pans, and seven small nozzles; marked on bases, branches, finials, sockets, waxpans and nozzles (one large and one small nozzle unmarked)
    30½ in. (77.5 cm.) high; 364 oz. (11346 gr.) (2)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    These superb candelabra represent one of Paul Storr's most successful and popular models. The earliest surviving pair of Storr candelabra with bases of this design was made for the 9th Duke of Bedford in 1807, the year that Storr became the director of the workshops of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (illustrated in N.M. Penzer, Paul Storr, 1954, p. 126, and sold Christie's, London, 14 June 1950, lot 117).

    Most surviving pairs are dated 1808, the year of the present pair, and include examples in the collections of: Morrie Moss, the 1st Earl Beauchamp, Koopman Rare Art, the 5th Earl of Chesterfield, and the Estate of Charles and Yvette Bluhdorn (illustrated, respectively, in The Lillian and Morrie Moss Collection of Paul Storr Silver, 1972, p. 97; Sotheby's, London, 11 February 1971, lot 243; Koopman Rare Art, Silver from a Gilded Age, 2005, p. 35; Sotheby's, London, 15 February 1988, lot 118, with branches by Garrard; and Sotheby's, New York, 13 October 2007, lot 27). Another pair of 1808 was sold anonymously at Christie's London, 10 December 1958, lot 70. The branches for this model were equipped with either two arms for three lights, or three arms for four lights, as on the present pair.

    Provenance

    The crest is that of Oswald, of Auchincruive, Ayrshire, either for George Oswald (1735-1819) merchant, or more likely his son Richard Alexander Oswald (1771-1841), politician.

    George Oswald inherited Auchincruive in 1788 from the widow of his uncle, Richard Oswald, who made the family fortune by supplying bread to the Army during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). In 1764 Richard Oswald purchased Auchincruive, ancient seat of the Cathcart family, and in 1767 commissioned Robert Adam to design new interiors and build a temple-form summerhouse to the north of the estate. On Richard's death in 1784, his estate, including Auchincruive, also known as Oswald Hall, was valued at 500,000 British Pounds.

    Richard Alexander Oswald served as a government contractor during the War of 1812 and inherited Oswald Hall in 1819. He married a celebrated beauty, Louisa, daughter of Wynne Johnston in 1793. She was admired by Robert Burns, who made her the subject for his verse "O Wat Ye Wha's in Yon Town" and described her as "that incomparable woman" in 1795. She in turn composed a song for which Burns created the verse "Thou Lingering Star with Lessening Ray."


    Saleroom Notice

    Both large nozzles are marked (catalogue incorrectly states one was unmarked).


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK FAMILY