Pair of candlesticks
Ormolu (gilt copper)
Height: 35 cm
English, circa 1790
Each base with a crest incorporating cockerel an interlaced Cs (see right)
Unfortunately, in the absence of any other provenance information, the crest does not unlock the history of these candlesticks, which were most recently in the collection of Eugene Thaw (1927-2018). There are no fewer than twenty British families whose name begins with a C and who have a cockerel in their crest.
The design of the candlesticks has parallels in the work of known designers and makers, but nothing sufficiently strong to allow an attribution.
The square tapering stem can be seen in a design by Sir William Chambers, dated 1791; see John Harris, Sir William Chambers, 1970, pl. 192, and in two drawings, also by Chambers, in the National Gallery of Scotland (pls 194 and 195). Attention can also be drawn to a pair of candlesticks from Nostell Priory, Christie’s South Kensingrton, 30 April 1990, lot 15.
Addorsed heads are found on contemporary ormolu and silver-gilt candlesticks and candelabra, for example in the work of Benjamin Smith.