The 'vase' candlesticks are designed in the George III French/antique manner and reflect the fashion for vase-decorated rooms in the Roman/Etruscan columbaria fashioned promoted around 1760 by the Rome-trained architects James Stuart (d.1788), Sir William Chambers (d.1796) and Robert Adam (d.1792). Intended to evoke lyric poetry's triumph, their plinth-supported and reed-gadrooned wine-krater vases are wreathed by pearled ribbon-guilloches from which garlands of 'Apollo' laurels festoon sunflower libation paterae; while their necks are wreathed in triumphal palms tied by 'Venus' pearl-strings. The laurel-wreathed and palm-flowed candle-urns rise from Corinthian-like clusters of Roman acanthus, which are similarly enriched with palms; while the vase-plinths' hollow-sided altar-drums rise from domed steps whose corners are wrapped by bas-relief Roman foliage.
Their pattern harmonises with a desk ink-stand, which was commissioned by Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Bt. (d.1786) from his London neighbour in St. James's the goldsmith Mark Cripps, who had succeeded in 1767 to William Cripps' workshops at the Sign of the Golden Ball, St. James's Street, famed for the production of a number of mid-eighteenth century silver masterpieces. It is also worth noting that by the late 1760s Chippendale was supplying lady's writing-tables, fitted with folding candle-flaps, and popularly known as sofa-tables. It would certainly be expected that candlesticks formed part of the equipment of a gentleman's desk.The ink-stand returned in 2000 for display on its desk at Nostell (see Christie's, London, 22 November 2000, lot 61).