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Pair of Candlesticks, Mark of Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751), London, 1742/43.

Sterling silver; height 11, diameter of base 5 13/16 inches.

Copyright Christie's Images Ltd. 2009.


Paul de Lamerie is considered the greatest eighteenth century silversmith working in England.  He was a Huguenot ( French Protestant) who went to London as a child to flee persecution in France, and by 1716 he was appointed goldsmith to the king, demonstrating his remarkable talent and success.  


The rococo style, a term derived from the French word for shell or rocaille,  is epitomized in these candlesticks that are elaborately decorated with asymmetrical scrolls, shells, and leaves.  The sculptural scrolls at the corners of the base are often referred to as "cinnamon buns."

At Auction

Silver by Paul de Lamerie commands top prices at auction, with a record sale of nearly $1.4 million dollars for a turtle soup tureen.  This price reflects the high quality and inventiveness of silver made by de Lamerie’s workshop.

In History

The earliest candles were messy and required constant maintenance, making them relatively unpopular. These were made from tallow or animal fat, but by the 1780's these were replaced with wax.  In 1820 self-snuffing, plaited wicks were invented, which made candles and their holders a more practical source of artificial lighting.

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Porcelain Tray

Estimate: $150 - $300 (FMV)

Listed By: Stephanie Retz

Location: Providence, RI

Estimate By: Jorge Luis González

The thick potting, simple decoration, small size and deep shape of the tray would indicate late 18th or early 19th century continental manufacture.

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