The candelabrum, comprising a plinth-supported 'cippus' altar or Tuscan pillar of ormolu-enriched and black marble-polished slate, is conceived in the French/antique manner that was popularised around 1800 by Benjamin Vulliamy (d. 1821), who served as 'furniture man' and clock-maker to George, Prince of Wales, later George IV. Its ormolu calix of palm-wrapped Roman acanthus derives from the 'Barbarini' Roman tripod-candelabrum that the architect Charles Heathcote Tatham illustrated in his Etchings representing the best examples of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, 1799. Tatham, who visited Rome while assisting the architect Henry Holland in his work for the Prince of Wales at Carlton House, also introduced this calix form on the silver candelabra, which he designed in 1801 and illustrated in Designs for Ornamental Plate, 1806. It featured again on some caryatic candelabra that Vulliamy provided in 1806 for the Prince of Wales (J. Harris et al., Buckingham Palace and its treasures, New York, 1968, p. 156). One of the latter set bears the date 1811, and this same date appears on a set of four candelabra of this present pillar model, that Vulliamy may have supplied to Edward, Viscount Lascelles (d. 1814) for his London mansion in Hanover Square, and now at Harewood House, Yorkshire.
Another pair of these candelabra was supplied to Samuel Whitbread II (d. 1815) and was inventoried at Southill, Bedfordshire as 'black Therms' decorated with lions (F. J. B. Watson, 'The Furniture and Decoration', Southill, A Regency House, London, 1951, p. 31, fig. 37). The slate for all these candelabra is likely to have been supplied by Mr. Walmesby of Lambeth (F. Wadsworth, 'Some early 19th Century workmen', Antiquarian Horology, Summer 1991, p. 410).
A pair of candelabra of the same model, was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 14 November 1996, lot 105.