Antique William & Mary Silver Chamberstick

Date: 1685

Maker: John Penfold

Country: England

Stock Number: 8881

An extremely rare early English silver chamber stick (also known as a go to bed) with the solid design and excellent heavy gauge silver as you'd expect from this date. It has the early form with a long cannon handle and heavy bordered drip pan with a reeded edge. A nice feature is the ring handle support. The drip pan has hand engraved initials underneath. Weight 223 grams, 7.2 troy ounces. Diameter 11 cms. Length 22 cms. Sterling silver. London 1685. Makers mark probably John Penfold (see photo of Jacksons page 148).

Literature: Chambersticks first made an appearance in the 17th century and early examples are now very hard to find. Originally they were made in sets as a household would need many chamber sticks. They were used for lighting the way to bed and because of the movement created when they were carried about they needed a large drip pan to catch the wax. The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superceded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle. Gradually the design evolved and from the mid 18th century onwards they usually had a matching conical snuffer although from about 1790 onwards some were made with an aperture at the base of the stem to take a pair of scissor snuffers.

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