9350. Antique Charles II Pillar Candlestick - Price £16,500

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An extremely rare early English candlestick from the reign of Charles II. It has a triple pillar column and square stepped base, all with a silver gilt finish. The base is engraved with two contemporary armorials and the motto “Manus Iusta Mardus” for the Maynard family*. Weight 638 grams, 20.5 troy ounces. Height 23.3cm. base 18.3cm square. Stamped underneath in three corners for London 1663. Maker possibly Thomas Hughes* (courtesy of Dr David Mitchell’s “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”).

Biography - Thomas Hughes, London silversmith, apprenticed to plateworker Christopher Shaw 1655, free 1662. Shaw ran a substantial workshop, having 6 apprentices between 1663-1672 and by 1670 he seems to have become a large sub-contractor to Edward Backwell, making a significant part of the large 3,270 oz dining service supplied to Prince Rupert. Hughes died c.1677. 

Signed - The motto “Manus Iusta Mardus” for the Maynard family translates as “A just hand is a precious ointment” The Coat of Arms granted to the Maynard family is a silver shield with a red chevron between three red sinister hands, the Crest is of a stag crowned, between plumage feathers. The name Maynard originates in France and made its way into England around the time of William the Conqueror’s Norman Conquest of England in 1066 AD. Such companions of William often received grants of land for their service, land that previously belonged to the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy. More details available on the COADB.com website - https://coadb.com/surnames/maynard-arms.html

Condition - This historic pillar candlestick is in very good condition with no apparent damage or restoration. The engravings still have definition with some wear. The gilt finish, possibly an 18th century addition, has a small amount of wear particularly on the corners of the decorative platform above the base. Stamped underneath in the corners with a full set of English silver hallmark:
1, makers mark for Thomas Hughes*
2, leopard mark
3, date letter for 1663
4, not visible, only part stamped but should be the lion mark
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Provenance - Collection of John N. Price Wood (1877-1962), born Wirksworth Hall, Derbyshire, and later at Henley Hall, Bitterley, Shropshire, who served in the 12th Lancers in the Boer War, and was the author of “Travel & Sport in Turkestan”, published in 1910.

Literature - *It is unusual to have a maker’s name for a piece of silver of this early date as there are no precise records of silver makers’ marks prior to 1697. All records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in 1681 when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down. From 1697 onwards Goldsmiths Hall has preserved a complete record of workmen’s marks, addresses, together with their names and the dates. Sometimes the details of makers can be discovered from old records such as the inventories of noble houses and other institutions.
The first surviving record at Goldsmiths Hall is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).

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