Saturday, 14 April 2012

Antique Silver Candlesticks

 The antique silver candlestick is perhaps the quintessential antique silver object. It makes perfect sense. Not only is it beautiful, but silver is the most reflective metal known to man.
In the times before electricity one point of light became many, as the single candle flame was reflected numerous times. The effect was, and still is, dazzling, and quite seductive. Candle light gives off a romantic and flattering light, and creates a wonderful ambiance at the dinner table. Augment this atmosphere with fine silver candlesticks and silverware and you have created a rare and special occasion!

These fine Antique Silver Candlesticks are by Charles Fox
A fine pair of Victorian silver Candlesticks by Charles Fox.

 The term candlestick is often interchanged for candle holder, but really a candlestick is simply a type of candle holder. They are only truly candlesticks when tall, on a stem. Some people erroneously term them silver candlestick holders, believing that the candle itself is the candlestick. Silver Candle holders could also be silver chambersticks or silver candelabra.
Also we should note that all which can be said of the silver candlestick can also be said of antique silver plate candlesticks too, as they were made in tandem with silver examples from 1765 to the present day, in identical styles and qualities.

The base of a very fine Victorian Silver Plate candlestick
The base of a Victorian Silver plate candlestick
It is very rare to find a silver candlestick prior to 1600, but by the 18th century antique silver candlesticks are quite plentiful. Many different designs proliferated, and the styles and heights were both matters of fashion which changed quite regularly. Georgian silver candlesticks started in the early 18th century, as standard, around 6” tall. By the end of the century 10-12 inches was the norm for silver candlesticks, and smaller examples were made for different purposes such as piano candlesticks or silver candlesticks for the side table.
Old Sheffield Plate Candesticks were made in the identical styles as their silver counterparts, and many Georgian manufacturers made both solid silver and silver plate candlesticks.

An interesting example of Post War British silver, by Leslie Durbin
A Stunning pair of Post War British Silver candlesticks

Victorian silver candlesticks could be any height, and it was not abnormal in the Victorian period to have candlesticks as tall as 12.5 inches. The smaller sorts prevailed also, but as before, for different uses than general lighting of rooms and, of course, the dinner table. Many designs were also popular, and the invention of electroplate meant that silver plate candlesticks could be bought in large quantity and inexpensively.
Then, of course, the invention first of gas lighting, and later electricity. Candlesticks became, quite understandably, less plentiful, and were, as today, solely produced to enhance the ambience of an evening room, especially the dinner table.

The original article can be found here: Antique Silver Candlesticks

These elegant Georgian Candlesticks are made in Old Sheffield Plate
A pair of Georgian Old Sheffield Plate candlesticks in the Neoclassical style.


  1. very interesting articel .. any interesting claret jugs for sale ?

  2. Sorry- only just noticed this! For some reason I didn't get a comment alert email!

    The only claret jug i have in stock currently is this rather beautiful example modelled on a Cellini design.

  3. Indeed I do!

    A claret jug based on a Cellini design:

    I have heard of your collection. Please do pop in to my shop next time you're in London!

  4. I've been trying to know more about antique candelabra's and this is really informative, the pieces you've shown are very beautiful, I just love the details antiques and vintage candelabra's have...

    1. Thank you for the compliment! Not much fine silver is made nowadays, and so Antique candlesticks and candelabra represent excellent value compared to what is made now, as well as being superior in quality!

      You can browse many more silver candlesticks and candelabra here!

  5. Good antiques will only become rarer with time, and demand (along with the human population, for better or worse) will only grow. Thus, as a category, antiques will continue to increase in value. Compare the prices for a Shiebler Etruscan fish slice today with one 20 years ago and the meaning of what I say becomes manifest.

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  7. Great post, I really love these images of silver candlestick with different design. Sterling Silver Candelabraalso provides silver candlestick with amazing design at best price. Get more information check out my site.

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