Pair of Antique George I Silver Tapersticks

Date: 1721

Country: England

Stock Number: 8097

A delightful pair of little antique silver taper sticks with the plain early design of baluster stem over a raised hexagonal foot. Cast silver. Britannia standard silver*. With scratched initials "C" over "RM" under the bases. Total weight 273 grams, 8.7 troy ounces. Height 11.5 cms. Base diameter 7.25 cms. Marked in the corners underneath the base with English silver hallmarks for London 1721. Makers mark unclear.

Literature: Tapersticks, averaging about 5 inches high are miniature table candlesticks used to hold a wax taper. They are rarer than candlesticks and very few exist prior to the Queen Anne period. They usually appear in singles and pairs of tapersticks command a premium price.

*Britannia Standard. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, "the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia" and the lion's head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard's head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.

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