• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7597

    Important Silver

    10 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 253

    AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY SILVER TWO-LIGHT WALL SCONCES

    APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1686-1690, ADAPTED CIRCA 1816 BY RUNDELL BRIDGE AND RUNDELL

    Price Realised  

    AN IMPORTANT PAIR OF WILLIAM AND MARY SILVER TWO-LIGHT WALL SCONCES
    APPARENTLY UNMARKED, CIRCA 1686-1690, ADAPTED CIRCA 1816 BY RUNDELL BRIDGE AND RUNDELL
    The openwork foliage and scroll heart-shaped centre flanked by acorn and oak leaf festoons, the vacant cartouche applied with fruiting grapevines and flowers, capped with a drapery and foliage cartouche and with two cupids, the arms each cast as branches and foliage fruiting grapevines, the openwork foliage sockets with acorn and oak leaf drip pans
    17 in. (43 cm.) high
    296 oz. (9,194 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

    Matthew Winterbottom has done a great deal of research into this set of sconces, see Royal Treasures A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London, 2002, p.255-256, no.175.

    Besides the present pair, known as the 'Oken' or Acorn sconces which were made for Queen Mary of Modena and her husband King William III between 1686-1690 for Whitehall Palace at least 12 survive. They include a set of four in the Royal Collection, capped with Royal crowns and applied with the cypher of William III, which were gilt and improved by Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in 1816 at the request of the Prince Regent, later King George IV. In addition, a set of eight, which are missing the oak leaf and acorn festoons, and each with an added second branch by Robert Garrard, 1856, that formed part of the Sneyd Heirlooms which were sold in 1924, passed through the collecion of William Randolph Hearst and are now in the Collection of Colonial Williamsburg (J. Davis, English Silver at Williamsburg, Viginia, 1976, pp. 15-17, cat. no. 2).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Ordered for Queen Mary (1662-94) by Royal Warrant either 12 March 1686 as part of 'seaven new silver sconces with two socketts' or 5 September 1686 as part of 'three new silver sconces of the same manner and largesse as the other seven' or for King William III and Queen Mary 20 September 1689 as part of 'five acorn sconces of the fashion as those that were made therefore' or a final pair delivered the following September
    Used to furnish the Queen's Drawing room at Whitehall Palace and later the velvet draped bedchamber at Whitehall Palace where the Queen lay in state in 1694 (PRO LC9/46 11 February 1694/5)
    In the Jewel House of the Royal collection until 1812 when they were 'taken to Carlton House... for the Prince Regent to see' (PRO LC9/351, f.1)
    Presumably among those sold to Rundell Bridge and Rundell 1816-17 along with at least eight other sconces from the set and other plate totalling 4,286 oz. as part payment for a service of plate for Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796-1817) (PRO LC9/351, f.91)
    Colonel H.H. Mulliner (d.1924)
    Colonel H.H. Mulliner (+); Christie's London, 9 July 1924, lot 18, (£420 to Penmain for Randolph Hearst)
    William Randolf Hearst (1863-1951)
    By tradition in the collection of Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961) at Acsott House, Buckinghamshire
    Anonymous sale [Arthur A. Leidersdorf]; Sotheby's New York, 27 June 1974, lot 1 (withdrawn)


    Literature

    H. H. Mulliner, The Decorative Arts of England, 1660-1780, London, 1923, fig. 79