Pair of candelabra

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed and manufactured by Benjamin Vulliamy (died 1811)

    & Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (died 1854)

    with figures after James Smith (1775-1815)

  • Provenance

    Part of a set of sixteen candelabra supplied between 1810 and 1814 to George, Prince of Wales, later George IV (reigned 1820-30), for the Circular Drawing Room at Carlton House, London

  • Collection

    Present location unknown

  • Literature

    W. 11. Pyne, The History of Royal Residences, III (London, 1810)

  • Notes

    The Vulliamys were responsible for the overall design of the present candelabra, but a major contribution came from the sculptor James Smith who, in April 1800, prepared the plaster model for the three boys at a cost of £26, as well as the ox skulls (Vulliamy Ornament Book 1809-1815, Public Record Office, London, CI 04/57/1). Smith was an assistant for eight years to John Flaxman and is best known for his large marble monument to Lord Nelson in the Guildhall, London; he also worked with the Vulliamys on fireplaces for Carlton House (see Geoffrey de Bellaigue, ‘The Crimson Drawing Room, Carlton House’, Furniture History, XXVI (1990), pp.10-20).

    The entry of 23 April 1810 from the Vulliamy Daybook (Public Record Office, London, CI 104/58/1) reads: ‘Delivered a Pair of very Large Magnificent Bronze Candelabra/for 6 Lights ea. composed of 3 Bronze Boys Standing upon/a Black Marble Pedestal carrying a Tazza upon their Shoulders which contains the Nozzles for the Lights/in the Shape of Lotus Flowers the Pedestals are/enriched with 3 Oxes Skulls & 3 festoons of Vine/Leaves after the Antique . . . resting upon a Square black/Ebony Plinth. The Design for this Candelabra was/made on purpose for His Royal Highness, the Model/was inspected by HRH & approved of. . .’. Each pair cost £315. In 1828, following the demolition of Carlton House, the full set of sixteen candelabra was removed to Windsor Castle, where fourteen remain.