Object Number: #709
City’s hallmark: Leopard’s head crowned for London (Jackson 1921: 85)
Maker’s mark: a monogram “WD” with a rotary circle in a shield for William Darker (Jackson 1921: 185; Grimwade3 Nr. 3079/S. 218)
Sterling mark: Lion passant en face
Date-letter: „S“ in a pointed shield for 1733 (Jackson 1921: 85)
Height: 18,5 cm (7,1 in.); Weight: each 320 g
This pair of silver George II candlesticks presents a very fine work of English silver of the early 18th century and especially the Georgian Era. The octagonal, light concave foot presents an impressive, prismatic-like décor, which is completed with lunettes at the foot-rim. The foot is moreover adorned with an engraved coat of arms. The octagonal shaft has balusters as décor. This square-decoration continues also to the vase-shaped spout. The overall form of the candlestick and the plain decoration present a very elegant object. This form of prismatic-like decoration has been used in English silver objects of the early 18th century (cf. Jackson 1911: Abb. 1124/S. 862/Bd. II).
English gold- and silversmith has a long history. The system of finesse in silver, the Sterling Standard (11 Oz. 2. dwts. pure silver and 18 dwts. of alloy) has been instituted in 1300 and was into force until 1696 (institution of the Britannia Standard). Since 1720 the sterling standard came back into force.
William Darker is born in Leicester as the son of John Darker. In 1711, he began his apprenticeship to Richard Bailey and became a master-maker on the 4th December 1718 (Grimwade 1990: 484).