Charles II to William & Mary Silver Chamberstick

Date: Circa 1693

Country: England

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A rare early English silver chamber candlestick (also known as a go to bed) with the plain styling and hand beaten silver you'd expect from this date. It has a large drip pan and flat tongue shaped handle. The candle socket has 4 circular holes to enable the stub of the candle to be levered out. A nice feature is the shaped handle decoration and heart shaped hole for hanging when not in use. Hand engraved to the handle is an armorial within a decorative cartouche and on the reverse side there are two sets of prick initials and dates. “I.B 1694” and “D.W June 23rd 1693”.

Weight 147 grams, 4.7 troy ounces.

Diameter 12.9cm. Length 22.5cm.

English Sterling silver.

Prick marks Charles II to William and Mary date.

Circa 1693. No hallmarks. The earliest prick date can be read as either 1664 or 1694 - see photos. In our opinion this is 1664.

Makers mark “W.W” unidentified.

Literature. Chambersticks first made an appearance in the 17th century and early examples are now very hard to find. Bed chamber candlesticks were designed for easy carrying and the early examples had either a finger ring or a tongue shaped or scroll handle to one side. 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. Most of these early examples have pierced sockets to enable the stub of the candle to be levered out.

Arms. The simplicity of the arms means that we should expect these to be the arms of a family of the middle ages and the arms being contained in a lozenge leads us to expect that the display is intended for an unmarried lady. The mantling is consistent with circa 1680. The blazon: (on a lozenge) gules, a chevron or. Being of the medieval period ensures some uncertainty and we find a number of families at some time assuming these arms: CHAMBERNOUN, COBHAM, DOWNER, DULFORD, TULFORD, GATHWITE, GOUNERY, HADLEY, KIRKLEY, KYME, VERRES, REDLLY, WHITLEY. The initials DW do suggest that we should look further at the WHITLEY family. The WHITLEY family are of Warwickshire, where their family name is derived from a place of the same name near Coventry.

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