A Rare Pair of 18th Century Candle-Gripping Bell Metal Candlesticks, UK
A Rare Pair of 18th Century Candle-Gripping Bell Metal Candlesticks, UK Circa 1775
A fine & rare pair of 18th century neoclassical bell-metal candlesticks fitted with a unique candle gripping mechanism developed & patented by James Tate of Birmingham in 1775. Both showing flaring squared columns with hand embossed honeysuckle motifs, rising to tulip-shaped sockets with flaring drip pans that when rotated activates 3 horizontal flanges that accommodate & grips a variety of different sized candles (one mechanism seized). Both raised overall on squared stepped basses bearing partially rubbed marks presumably for James Tate, together with the word PATENT within a wavy rectangular cartouche. Both also retaining their original push-rod candle ejectors. Dimensions, 10.75” high x 4.25” wide x 4.25” deep. Both exhibiting an exceptional warm pinkish hue due to the high ratio of copper used in their composition, making these fine candlesticks more closely associated with bronze than that of brass. And as the name suggests, bell metal was initially used in the casting of bells as well as candlesticks, and in some instances cannons.
(Ronald Michaelis in his book titled ‘Old Domestic Base Metal Candlesticks’, states that very few antique bronze or brass candlesticks bear a maker’s mark, perhaps only one in a thousand).