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Post Lot Text
A PAIR OF ROCK CRYSTAL AND GILT-COPPER CANDLESTICKS
NORTH ITALIAN, PROBABLY MILAN, EARLY 18TH CENTURY
Each surmounted by a nozzle, above a lobed quatrefoil drip-pan, alternating carved rock crystal and gilt-copper baluster stem and lobed gilt-copper quatrefoil base; the nozzles and discs later, minor losses and repairs
The art of carving in rock crystal, the colourless variant of quartz, was a highly treasured art-form in antiquity but one that also gained a renewed interest in western Europe from the 14th century. The beauty of the material is its glass-like transparency, however, there was also a great fascination with its hardness and the amount of skill required to carve it. Not only was it essential for a renaissance collector to own the finest rock-crystal carvings or vessels as symbols of his high status, but also collections of works from crystal were the pride of the largest courts of Europe. Cut crystal vessels decorated treasure rooms and kunstkammern and also served as diplomatic gifts.