A good, mid-18th century elm candlestand with a burr top

September 18, 2019 2:38 pm Published by

The circular burr top fixed onto an elegant, turned stem with three, sweeping, cabriole legs ending in pad feet. In original condition. Excellent original colour and patina. English, second quarter of the 18th century.

The burr-top is the prominent feature of this piece, and the cabinet maker has sympathetically used a stylistically simple, base to enhance this. The configuration and colour is excellentof the burr-top is prominent during daylight, and at night illuminated by soft candlelight.

Moveable stands to support a candlestick or lamp were intended to supplement the fixed lighting arrangements of rooms, and were often placed in alcoves and wall recesses or near chairs. The fashion for decorative candlestands spread rapidly after the Restoration.

The ordinary form was a plain or spiral baluster, circular or octagonal top and tripod base, and walnut and elm were commonly employed. A great variety of candlestands are illustrated in mid-18th century design books, many inspired by French design. Nevertheless these extravagant conceits, somewhat modified, were occassionally executed by craftsmen to whose judgement Chippendale commits the success of the undertaking. Candlestands of a practical nature were also designed by Chippendale and his contempories. The tripod base rendered candlestands particularly suitable for classical treatment, and many examples were of simple designs with elegant tops. Sheraton observed that candlestands afford, ‘ additional light to such parts of the room where it would neither be ornamental nor easy to introduce any other kind’.

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This post was written by joecollinson