A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER CANDLESTICKS
A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER CANDLESTICKS
A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER CANDLESTICKS
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A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER CANDLESTICKS
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A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER CANDLESTICKS

MARK OF MATTHEW BOULTON AND JOHN FOTHERGILL, CHESTER, 1768

Details
A PAIR OF GEORGE III SILVER CANDLESTICKS
MARK OF MATTHEW BOULTON AND JOHN FOTHERGILL, CHESTER, 1768
Tapering column form, with lion's masks and drapery swags on four pairs of feet above circular spreading filled bases, the vase-shaped sockets with Greek key banding and detachable nozzles, engraved to sides of bases 'MADE IN CHESTER A.D.1768 BY BOLTON (sic.) AND FOTHERGILL SILVERSMITHS', marked to sides of bases and drip pans
11 1⁄4 in. (28.5 cm.) high
Provenance
Acquired from ADC Heritage Ltd, London, June 2002.
Literature
N. Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, London, 2002, pp. 66-7, pl. 16.
K. Quickenden, The Silver Society Journal, 'Lyon-faced candlesticks and candelabra', vol. 11, Autumn 1999, pp. 196-210.
C. Vignon, C. Baulez, Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court, New York, 2016, pp. 216-217, cat. 20.

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Amelia Walker
Amelia Walker Director, Specialist Head of Private Collections

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Lot Essay


Sir Nicholas Goodison noted: 'This lion-faced candlestick was among Boulton's earliest designs for silver and for ormolu, the latter invariably with the addition of candle branches. Other English silversmiths copied the design, including notably Thomas Heming, but Boulton and Fothergill appear to have made the earliest silver versions in England. Boulton appears to have derived the design from France. Its origin there is uncertain. It is usually attributed to the well-known doreur-ciseleur Pierre Gouthière (1732-1813), and ormolu versions without candle branches attributed to him are thought to date from the mid-1760s or earlier. Boulton's candlesticks are closer to Gouthière's model than those of other English silversmiths, which strengthens his claim to have been the first silversmith to make these candlesticks in England. How he acquired the design is not known. He may have secured it during his visit to Paris in 1765, or copied it from a Gouthière candlestick in the collection of an English patron or shopkeeper. The words 'lyon-faced' and 'lyon' appear in correspondance to describe the candlesticks in 1771.'

The present candlesticks were hallmarked at Chester. The Birmingham Assay Office opened in 1773, in part due to Boulton’s successful lobbying of parliament together with that of his patron the 2nd Earl of Shelburne.

Two pairs of candlesticks of this design in ormolu were delivered to the Earl of Sefton in April 1772, who was charged £18 18s 0d. for each pair; two of these four are now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, although they do not form a true pair (N. Goodison, Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, London, 2002, p. 187). A further pair of ormolu candlesticks, with additional branches, are at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, having been supplied to the Duke of Marlborough in August 1772 (ibid., pp. 188-9, fig. 135).

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