7725
Queen Anne Silver Chamberstick by Simon Pantin

Date: 1704

Maker: Simon Pantin

Country: England

Stock Number: 7725

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A 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 flat teardrop handle and broad drip pan. The circular base is hand engraved with the crest of a crowned lion's head erased between two plumes, all mounted on three small stump feet. Weight 225 grams, 7.25 troy ounces. Diameter 11.5 cms, 4.5 inches. Length 17 cms. Britannia standard silver*. London 1704. By Simon Pantin.

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 The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superceded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring handle.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.

*Britannia Standard silver. 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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