• 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 16

    A VERY RARE PAIR OF VERTE-IMARI CANDELABRA

    CIRCA 1725

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE PAIR OF VERTE-IMARI CANDELABRA
    CIRCA 1725
    In European silver form, the knopped standards rising from a scalloped, dished base, a bracketed platform supporting the central nozzle above three elaborately scrolled arms, all decorated with a formal arrangement of flower sprigs, spearhead, scrolling vine and palm leaves in blue, green, iron-red and gilt
    15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm.) high (2)


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    While candlesticks inspired by European metalwork were made in pairs and sets of four for the China trade, and are, indeed, very desirable forms among the Chinese export repertoire, this pair of candelabra may well be unique. D.S. Howard, writing in The Choice of the Private Trader, points out that "...candlesticks...did not survive the 18th century in any quantity" and also that "Candlesticks were comparatively rare in the later 18th century..."

    The shape of the present pair is a fascinating mixture of Queen Anne period silver, as seen in the knopped standards and shaped, square, dished bases, and Baroque ornament, reflected in the scrolling candle arms and the unusual bracketed bobeches. The enameling on the candelabra is highly reminiscent in palette, painting style and motif of high quality French market Chinese export of the 1725-35 period, like the well-known French royal service (see lot 20). Very likely these candelabra were a special commission for a very highly placed East Indies Company director or investor.

    Provenance

    With Cohen & Pearce, London.