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James Gould(3), Elizabeth Godfrey(1) - Four George II Candlesticks, London, c. 1740's

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These outstanding candlesticks come from a large set from the 1740's. On square bases with scrolling foliate and shell decoration, these are excellent examples of 18th century rococo design. A nice set of four like this is getting hard to find.

During the mid 18th century, large sets of candlesticks like this were to be found in the finest homes. Often sets of 18 or 24 (or sometimes more) could be found in a single house. (This was before electricity - candlesticks were used, and many did not make it to the 21st century.) The singles and pairs we see today started in larger sets. Often these sets were made by different silversmiths, sometimes cooperating together for a large commission - other times adding to pre-existing sets.

This set comprises three sticks by the prominent candlestick maker James Gould, and one by Eliza Godfrey - making a fine example of the cooperative nature of the silversmithing trade in London during the 18th century, being from two makers with slightly varying dates. All the sticks are identical in design and bear the same family crest - they are all from the same service.

Elizabeth (Eliza) Godfrey was a daughter of the important Huguenot maker Simon Pantin. During her illustrious career, she sold to members of the British royal family and other aristocrats. (Hester Bateman never had royal or aristocratic patronage.) Because of the outstanding quality of her shop's work and her noble patronage, "she undoubtedly takes the crown as the outstanding woman goldsmith of the 18th century," according to Philippa Glanville and Jennifer Goldsborough in Women Silversmiths 1685-1845 (see pages 20-21).

Each candlestick measures approximately 8.25 inches high and the square base is 4.25 inches wide. Together they weigh 73.70 troy ounces. They are in very good antique condition, each retaining its original bobeche (one bobeche has a little restoration). They are all fully marked (except for the bobeche on the Eliza Godfrey candlestick) and retain their original scratch weights and number in the set.

This is a rare and fine set of four candlesticks - good for both a collector or someone who simply likes to use beautiful silver.