Important Three-Light Silver Candelabrum from Silesia

Object Number: #701

Wroclaw, c. 1757
Benjamin Hentschel

City’s hallmark: Johannes head for Wroclaw, eighteenth century (Hintze, nr. 19; Rosenberg nr. 1372)
Maker’s mark: monogram “BH” in an oval shield for Benjamin Hentschel (Hintze, Nr. 147)
Date letter: “G” for 1758-1760
Mark of war’s tax: “FW” in italics (Scheffler nr. 30a)

Height: 34,5 cm (135, 8 in.); weight: 1.306 gr.

Detailed Information

Important Three-Light Silver Candelabrum from Silesia

This silver three-light candelabrum is a wonderful example of Frederician Rococo from Silesia. The candelabrum takes its very elegant and developing braided form through elaborate embossing. It is raised on a broad, slightly vaulted foot decorated with twisted lines and which takes a curved form through nicely embossed rocaille. The shaft raises up, adorned with elegant twisted lines and rocaille. The spout is adorned with cast, detailed, naturalistic elements, while the three lights are being developed from it. The three lights are decorated with volutes and the dropping pans and spouts are chased with wonderful rococo ornaments. The three spouts have moreover an opening in the form of a flower.

The candelabrum was made circa 1758-1760, during the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). Hence, one could conclude that the ordering client was wealthy, having ordered during the on-going war such a costly, silver object. The order could have been given at the end of 1757, namely after the Prussian reconquest of Breslau from the Austrian enemies. Therein, a court order cannot be ruled out, since Frederick II had began the expansion and setting up of the royal city palace in Breslau around 1750. There is actually not much information on an imperial silver collection there, however it can be assumed that there was one in this palace.

There would exist today many beautiful and of valuable quality silver artefacts, if the history of Breslau were shaped from less wartime experiences. Objects made of silver were brought actually during the wars into the mint, where many aesthetically valuable and historically important works were sacrificed.

The present candelabrum was saved from melting down after the paying of the war tax – as one can suppose from the existence of the mark “FW”.


Benjamin Hentschel was active as a maker in Breslau since 1732. He became a citizen in this same year. He died in Breslau in 1774. Hentschel has made many candlesticks and candelabra in rococo style; Hintze mentions them being in public and ecclesiastical possession.


Hintze, Erwin, Die Breslauer Goldschmiede: Eine archivalische Studie, Breslau: Kommissionsverlagvon Karl W. Hiersemann, 1906.
Rosenberg, 1925, Der Goldschmiede Merkzeichen. Dritte, erweiterte und illustrierte Auflage, 1. Band/Deutschland A-C, Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurter Verlags-Anstalt A.-G.