A rare, pair of late-17th century, walnut candlestands

September 18, 2019 2:37 pm Published by

The hexagonal-shaped, tops retaining original wooden screw fixings. The straight-grain veneers laid onto an oak carcass edged with herringbone inlay and faced with a moulded edge. The solid stems with ball-and-fillet and baluster turnings above octagonal columns leading into ball turnings. Standing on elaborate scroll legs, chamfered inside, and with a repair to one foot. Excellent configuration, colour and patina. English, last quarter of the 17th century. 60591143.

Due to their utalitarian nature, surviving pairs of 17th century candlestands are extremely rare. The carpenter has used quality veneers in conjunction with an elegant proportion enhanced by the variety of fluid turnings and sweeping, scroll feet.

Moveable stands to support a candlestick or lamp were intended to supplement the fixed lighting arrangements of rooms. The evidence of inventories suggests that they did not become common in France until about 1650 when they accompanied fine tables and cabinets. Such stands, being sometimes in the form of gueridons.

The fashion for decorative candlestands spread rapidly after the Restoration, when they were often made en-suite to flank a sidetable with a mirror above. Such sets are mentioned in lists of household goods and by contemporary writers. In 1664, for instance, Mary Verney is anxious to obtain “a table and stands of the same coler”. The Academy of Armory, published in 1688, defines a candle-stand as a “little round table, set upon one pillar or poste which in the foote branches itselfe out into three or four feete or toes … for its fast and steddy standing”.

The ordinary form under Charles II was a plain or spiral baluster, circular or octagonal top and tripod base. Walnut and elm were commonly employed and the most extravagant type was entirely covered with silver, such as at Knowle and Windsor Castle.

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This post was written by joecollinson