A rare, mid-17th century, walnut candlestand, ex Rous Lench Collection
The circular, dished, turn top with a deep, moulded edge. The barley-twist turned stem supported on a barley-twist turned, tripod base with knop ends and ending on bun feet. Excellent original colour and patina. Probably English, third quarter of the 17th century. 61181125
Due to their utalitarian nature, surviving 17th century candlestands are rare. The barley-twist turnings of this candlestand are of exceptional quality and proportion indicating that it was made by a master craftsman. Illustrating Carolean furniture at its height, this candlestand is sophisticated, elegant and refined, and would probably have been commissioned for a substantial household. Its finesse has probably served to protect it over the years as it has survived in excellent condition, and developed outstanding, mature, colour and patina.
Moveable stands to support a candlestick or lamp were intended to supplement the fixed lighting arrangements of rooms. The evidence of inventories suggests that they did not become common in France until about 1650 when they accompanied fine tables and cabinets. Such stands, being sometimes in the form of gueridons. The fashion for decorative candlestands spread rapidly after the Restoration, when they were often made en-suite to flank a sidetable with a mirror above. Such sets are mentioned in lists of household goods and by contemporary writers. In 1664, for instance, Mary Verney is anxious to obtain "a table and stands of the same coler". The Academy of Armory, published in 1688, defines a candle-stand as a "little round table, set upon one pillar or poste which in the foote branches itselfe out into three or four feete or toes ... for its fast and steddy standing".
The ordinary form under Charles II was a plain or spiral baluster, circular or octagonal top and tripod base. Walnut and elm were commonly employed and the most extravagant type was entirely covered with silver, such as at Knowle and Windsor Castle.
Mrs Monica Houghton, housekeeper to Thomas George Burn, Rous Lench Court, The Rous Lench Collection
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