These candlesticks are of a distinctive model by Lamerie, who marked several variations of this design in the 1730s. While the form generally follows a baroque design by Jean Berain, Lamerie's versions all successfully incorporate a new rococo vocabulary. The earliest known examples of this model were made for Sir Robert Walpole in 1731. Of these, Timothy Schroder has written, "Typical of de Lamerie are the arched shoulders and panels of scalework on the stems, the applied trophies of shells and foliage on the bases, and the shaped band of matting around the center of the bases and sockets" (The Gilbert Collection of Gold and Silver, 1988, pp. 204-206, cat. no. 50). The versions from the mid 1730s show further rococo features, such as the chased ornament on the domes of the bases. A set of four of 1737, in the collection of the Clark Art Institute, appear to be identical to the present pair (illustrated in Beth Carver Wees, English, Irish, and Scottish Silver at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1997, cat. no. 375; see also two further sets dated 1738: cat. nos. 376 and 377, and note 1, p. 509, for a list of the known related models by Lamerie).
The crest of Janssen, which appears four times around the base of each candlestick, associates this pair with an immensely rich English family known for its patronage of silver. Sir Theodore Janssen (ca. 1658-1748), was a successful merchant, and created a baronet in 1714. Henry Janssen, one of his five sons, is considered to be the patron of a significant part of the famous Penthièvre-Orléans service of French silver by Thomas Germain, Edmé-Pierre Balzac, and other Parisian silversmiths (see Stéphanie Boiron, "The Origins of the Penthièvre-Orléans Service," Royal French Silver: The Property of George Ortiz, Sotheby's New York, November 13, 1996, pp. 38-43). While Henry and another brother Robert settled in France by the late 1730s, Theodore's middle son, Stephen Theodore Janssen, remained in London and may have been the Janssen brother who commissioned these candlesticks.
Other silver by Lamerie also engraved with the crest of Janssen is a set of four salt cellars of 1737 in the Farrer Collection at the Ashmolean Museum (illustrated in Susan Hare, Paul de Lamerie, 1990, no. 78, p. 122), and a pair of candlesticks also of 1737 matching the present pair (Sotheby's, London, November 6, 1997, lot 163).