This decorative Derbyshire garniture, designed to be placed on a mantelpiece, is made of bluejohn, a rare type of fluorite hardstone found only at Castleton in Derbyshire. Bluejohn was a fashionable material used in England during the late 18th and early 19th century for various ornamental wares such as vases, goblets, obelisks and tazze. Examples of these objects are illustrated and discussed in B. Hughes, 'Derbyshire Blue John', Country Life, 3 December 1953, pp. 1834-1839 and T. Ford, Derbyshire Blue John, London, 2000.
A similar pair of unmounted bluejohn candlesticks, are recorded in the 1803 inventory at Dumfries House, Ayrshire. John, 7th Earl of Dumfries and 2nd Marquess of Bute instructed an undertaking of the inventory of Dumfries House following the death of his grandfather, 6th Earl of Dumfries. The pair of candlesticks are recorded in the 1803 inventory in the Blue Drawing Room as 'two Derbyshire spar pillars on chimney' (Courtesy of the Mount Stuart Archives).
Another similar pair of bluejohn candlesticks was sold by the late 2nd Viscount Camrose, Hackwood Park, Christie's house sale, 20-22 April 1998, lot 85 (£9,200).