A Pair of George II Silver Candlesticks

Object number 

London, 1753–54
John Quantock
City’s hallmarks: “crowned leopard’s head” in shield and “Lion passant” for London, long “ſ” for period 1753–54 (Jackson 1921: 87)
Maker’s mark: monogram “IQ” in rectangle for John Quantock (Jackson 1921: 203 and Grimwade2 1976, no. 1606)
Height: 9,4 in. (24 cm); weight: 1.400 gr.

Detailed Description

A Pair of George II Silver Candlesticks

The candlestick is raised on a cast hexagonal base adorned with stylized floral garlands on the six projecting parts. The slender shaft is decorated with balusters and presents alternating smooth surfaces and rings that structure the lower half of it. Where stand and shaft meet, there is an engraved antique woman’s head in profile: she is wearing an off-the-shoulder dress, a choker around her neck and a laurel wreath in her hair. The shafts upper half is decorated more elaborately with gadroons. The spout is baluster shaped and has a large palmette-decorated nozzle. Thanks to the rhythmical interplay of concave and convex shapes, the two candlesticks are at the same time very interesting and present a harmonious form. Marked on the bottom of the stand. The engraving on the shaft is somehow worn-off.

John Quantock created a pair of candlesticks that corresponded precisely to the taste of the time. While the somber candlesticks with their baluster-shaped shafts on octagonal stands gave way to more luscious and asymmetrical forms in the style of the Rococo, beginning in the 1720s, this trend did only last for about three decades. Around 1750, forms started to become simpler again. John Quantock’s wonderful candlesticks in the style of George II are the epitome of this revival of symmetry and balance.

Maker

John Quantock was born in the parish Kingsbury, county Somerset, to the yeoman Thomas Quantok. From 1726 to 1738/39, he was the apprentice of James Gould. John Quantock had his first mark as “largeworker” registered after July 3rd 1739. In 1754, he had a second mark registered, which featured his initials in cursive.
John Quantock specialized in making candlesticks, although Jackson mentions a pair of spoons with the mark of Quantock (Jackson 1921: 203) and there is a snuffer with the accompanying tablet made by John Quantock in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Literature

Grimwade, Ar., 1974, Rococo Silver 1727–1765, London: Faber and Faber.
Grimwade, Ar., 1976, London Goldsmiths 1697-1837. Their Marks and Lives from the Original Registers at Goldsmiths’ Hall and other Sources, London: Faber and Faber [Grimwade2].
Jackson, Ch., J., 1921, English Goldsmiths and their Marks, London: MacMillan and Co. Limited.