H Blairman and Sons

Pair of nine-light candelabra


William White (1825-1900)


Painted bronze

139 x 71 cm

English, circa 1860


John Garratt, Bishop's Court, Clyst St Mary, Devon, and by descent; Bearne's, The Principle Contents of Bishops Court, 26 September 1994; private collection


Bishops Court, originally the mediaeval residence of the Bishops of Exeter, was demolished in 1800, when a new house was built on the site, and purchased in 1833 by John Garratt, a wealthy tea merchant and former Lord Mayor of London.

He died in 1859, and it was his son, John Jnr, an active member of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society, who commissioned White's Gothic transformation.

White had been in G.G. Scott's office, before setting up as an architect in Truro.  The furnishings for Bishops Court, for which no accounts survive, are amongst the toughest and most dramatic Reformed Gothic survivals from the early 1860s, the time of the Mediaeval Court of the London International Exhibition, 1862.

Two candlesticks from the same commission were acquired in 1994 by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (M.3A & B-1994), and another pair of elaborate candelabra are in a private collection (Fine Art Society, Spring '95, 34b).  A third, simpler, pair can be seen on our website.

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ref: 1676