Queen Anne Silver Chamberstick

Date: 1704

Maker: Lewis Mettayer

Country: England

Reserved £2,950
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An antique silver chamber stick (also known as a “go to bed”) of plain circular form. Heavy gauge silver. Made in the early style with a ring handle and button feet.

Weight 285 grams, 9.1 troy ounces.

Height 9.8cm. Spread 14.5cm. Diameter 12.8cm.

London 1704

Maker Lewis Mettayer. Of Hugeunot origin.

Britannia standard silver*.

*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.

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 The earliest examples have straight handles (first flat, then tubular) which were superseded in the first part of the 18th century by a ring or flying handle.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