Antique Portuguese Silver Candle Snuffers

Date: Circa 1880

Country: Portugal

Stock Number: 7583


A decorative pair of antique silver candle wick trimmers with a sprung scissor action. Very prettily decorated in the early nineteenth century style with flowers and scrolling leaves. There is an engraved monogram to the front of the scissor box.

Weight 130 grams, 4.1 troy ounces.

Length 16.5 cm.

Marked underneath, inside and outside the scissor box with Lisbon silver marks.

Circa 1880.

Literature. Silver Candle Snuffers and Stands.

Two different types of candle douters were used to extinguish the flame of a candle. The extinguisher which was a small cone on the end of a long handle and the snuffer which was a dual purpose scissor like tool which could extinguish the candle flame and also cut the wick of the candle for reuse. There were few snuffers made prior to 1700 and by the early nineteenth century more refined candles were introduced which no longer required the wick to be cut. 

Snuffer trays are usually rectangular or oval shaped and can sometimes be raised on feet or have a carrying handle. Some early stands, called standing snuffers, are shaped like a candlestick with a side carrying handle and a hole at the top where the point of the snuffer scissors is inserted – these were very quickly superceded by the flat snuffer tray and scissors. It is rare now to find matching snuffers and base. Snuffers and trays were usually made by different specialists so even though the dates match, the makers will probably be different.

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