An Impressive Pair of Cast Silver Four-Light Candelabra, London 1812 by William Pitts
An outstanding and finely cast pair of George III silver candelabra modeled in the neo-rococo style. Each standing on a shaped circular base rising to a knopped baluster stick. The removable arms with three scrolling foliate branches leading to circular, eagle & feather decorated drip pans, surmounted with spool-shaped sockets and removable sconces. Rising from the center of the arms is a further inverted pear-shaped shaped column to a drip pan, socket and sconce, topped with a removable eagle finial. The candelabra are cast and chased throughout with representations of the four elements surrounded with flowers, scrolls and rocaille on a matted ground. The bases cast with a lion, dolphin and dragon, and the main stems are enwrapped with the lion and eagle, all rising to a cast removable finial/snuffer of a rising eagle with wings spread, allowing the pair to be used as a three-light or a four-light combination.
Hallmarked for London 1812 with makers marks for William Pitts, and Joseph W Storey & William Elliott. All pieces also bear the 1830 Belgium import mark.
These candelabra are in first class superb condition with very minimal wear to the expertly chased crisp decoration There are no repairs or erasures. Hallmarks are well struck and clear throughout. These are a magnificent pair of museum quality and a finer pair would be hard to find.
The four elements pattern came out of the Greek Revival movement during the latter part of the eighteenth century, and would have complemented the contemporary architecture. This neo-rococo design uses the Lion to represent earth, the Dolphin - water, the Dragon - fire and the Eagle - air. The pattern was originally designed by Storey & Elliott. William Pitts had a close working relationship with the pair, and used them to complete commissions during busy times, thus this pair are an important example of how silversmiths worked closely together to produce exceptionally fine pieces.
William Pitts (apprenticed 1769, free 1784) was the son of silversmith Thomas Pitts of James Street, himself known for his exceptional rococo epergnes, and worked with his father from 1806. The firm initially specialised in making large epergnes, pierced baskets and other important large pieces of silver. William Pitts became one of the most pre-eminent chasers of the period and was a leading out-worker used by the Royal goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, with his work appearing on such items as the large, sideboard dishes supplied to the Prince Regent.
He was one of the finest silversmiths and chasers of the nineteenth century, renowned for his neo-rococo work and particularly specialising in ornate cast candlesticks and candelabra in the rococo style and decorated with animals, flowers, shells and scroll-work. He went on to work as a designer, sculptor and chaser for Paul Storr - the most important of all 19th century silversmiths.
Height: 51cm or 20”
Width of Base: 18cm or 7”
Diameter of arms: 43cm or 17”
Weight of candelabrum 1: 5.922kg, 190.4 oz Troy or 209 oz
Weight of candelabrum 2: 6.009kg, 193.2 oz Troy or 212 oz
Total combined weight: 11.9kg (approx) or 383.6 oz Troy or 421 oz