Pair of George III Silver Chambersticks

Date: 1766

Maker: William Cafe

Country: England

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It’s very rare to find a chamberstick complete with the original snuffer scissors, let alone a matching pair!  These elegant antique silver chambersticks have plain classic styling, bead borders and a plain C scroll handle with a thumb piece. To the front of the pan is a hand engraved armorial crest. The candle nozzle is detachable and the snuffer has a little side handle. The snuffer scissors, also known as a wick trimmer, are part made of silver, and part iron.

Total weight of silver 743 grams, 23.8 troy ounces.

Height 10.3cm. Diameter 15cm.

London 1766.

Maker William Café, particularly known for his cast candlesticks.

Sterling silver.

Marks. Stamped underneath the pan with a full set of English silver hallmarks. The other pieces, although unmarked and uncrested, are undoubtably silver and original to the piece.

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 chambersticks. 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 The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superceded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle.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.
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. Additional information available at http://www.oldandinteresting.com/tallow-candles-snuffers.aspx.

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