These candlesticks appear to be part of the set of no fewer than 72 supplied by Behrens to King George II's court at the Palace of Herrenhausen in Hanover around 1735. A set of four similar, numbered 26, 30, 33 and 60 were sold at Sotheby's Geneva, 18 May 1992 lot 125 and a further four, numbered 2, 9, 27 and 45 (nozzles 10, 14, 23 and 72) were sold by the same house, 13 May, 1996 lot 166. Further sets of four (possibly including the present lot), but without inventory numbers being recorded, have appeared on the auction market (Sotheby's Monaco, 30 November 1977 and Sotheby's New York, 28/29 October 1977, lots 467 and 468). A set of eight was sold by Sotheby's New York, 21 June 1984, lot 31.
Balthazar Friedrich Behrens (1701-1760) married in 1728 the widow of the Hanover court goldsmith, Conrad Mundt. His most famous productions were the five magnificent chandeliers after designs by the English architect, William Kent that he supplied to the court at Herrenhausen, in 1736 and 1737. One of these, belonging to M. Hubert de Givenchy, was sold at Christie's Monaco, 4 December 1993, lot 95.
In addition to the chandeliers, in 1737 he was commissioned to make a pair of girandoles 'according to the design sent here from the King of England' and six such pairs, probably also based on a Kent design, were delivered between 1738 and 1744. In addition to this silver furniture and the set of 72 candlesticks, "Behrens supplied large services of silver in the new 'English style' " (Ellenor Alcorn, 'The Hanover Chandelier', Christie's International Magazine, October/November, 1993, p. 26). He was officially created Court goldsmith in 1739.
Much of the Hanover Royal plate, including no doubt the present candlesticks, remained at Herrenhausen until shortly after the Seven Weeks war in 1866. During the war the Palace was sacked by Prussian troops but the Royal Plate survived being locked away in a vault hidden by lime and debris. George Frederick, King of Hanover was deposed during that war and the family was deprived of the title of Kings and were, henceforth, styled Dukes of Brunswick. They settled in Austria and their silver was moved to Penzing near Vienna and the Duke's villa at Gmunden. Following the death of George Frederick's son, Ernest Augustus in 1923 a considerable part of the Hanover silver, both German and English, was purchased by the Viennese dealer Gluckselig and it appears to have been, at least in part, resold to London dealers Chichton brothers.