These candlesticks were part of the extensive silver collection of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, fifth son of George III. On the death of William IV in 1837, as the eldest surviving male child of George III, the Duke of Cumberland succeeded to the crown of Hanover.
Ernest Augustus took with him to Hanover a considerable quantity of the English Royal silver, some of it dating from the time of the Stuarts, in addition to his own personal silver. A claim was made by Queen Victoria for the return of certain of the Royal plate and jewels, which was successfully ignored for much of her reign. The Duke's only response it seems was to have his silver engraved with the initials E.A.Fs., for Ernest Augustus Fidekommiss, meaning entailed to his estate (see detail). On the death of Ernest Augustus, his son George Frederik succeeded to Hanover but was deposed during the Seven Weeks' War in 1866. At that time, Prussian troops sacked Herrenhausen, the Royal Palace just outside Hanover, but failed to find the Royal plate. Subsequently the family adopted the title Duke of Brunswick. A significant portion of the Hanoverian silver was sold to the Vienna dealer Gluckselig in 1924, much of it appearing in London in an exhibition held by Crichton Bros. in that year.
The 1923 inventory of the silver of the Duke of Brunswick describes two of the present candlesticks among the service of Princess Augusta Sophia, sister of the Duke of Cumberland, as "4 Leuchter m. Tllen, erhabene Arbeit" engraved with AS and a crown, by Paul Storr, 1814. It seems that the four were divided into two pairs, as one pair is now at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the other pair belongs to the present set. The pair at the V&A, also engraved EAFs, is illustrated in N.M. Penzer, Paul Storr, 1954, pl. XLVIII, p. 174.
A further set of four candlesticks of the same model of 1814 is in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, illustrated in Joseph R. Bliss, The Jerome and Rita Ganz Collection of English Silver, n.d., no. 40, pp. 122-123. Two of these four were originally owned by the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Cumberland's brother.