Kirkby, Waterhouse & Co Pair of English Sterling Silver Candlesticks, Sheffield - 1814/15
With their original bobeche, these lovely candlesticks are wonderfully ornate examples from Sheffield. Beautiful lobed and curved surfaces are ornamented with dramatic scrolls and foliage.
Both the bobeche and base of the sticks are engraved with an armorial of a dove inside a ringed serpent on a mound.
These stunning weighted candlesticks are fully hallmarked on the edges of their bases and on the bobeches. They measure 10.5 inches high, are made of heavy gauge silver and are in very good antique condition. There are a couple minor dings to the bases and the rim of one socle is a bit uneven (hidden by the bobeche).
Provenance: Although it can be difficult to identify a family based solely on the crest, the standard reference on the subject, James Fairbairn's Book of Crests (4th ed., 1905), notes only one family with this crest: Walker of Rotherham.
The Walker family was one of Britain's great industrial families, starting the iron foundry at Masbrough, famous for its cast iron. Among the achievements of the Walker family and their 'Masbro' works are cannons for the the Royal Navy (including half the guns used by Lord Neslon's flagship HMS Victory at his greatest victory - Trafalger) and the cast iron spans of the original Southwark bridge over the Thames in London (at the time the largest cast iron bridge spans ever made).
It is probably not coincidence that Henry Walker inherited the family fortune in 1815, when these candlesticks were made. He would have likely been updating his mansions with stylish new decorations at this time and could have been easily disposed to buy from local businessmen (some of whom would have been friends), rather than more expensive London goldsmiths (even though his large fortune could have afforded such a luxury).
These wonderful candlestick probably graced his home at Blythe Hall or Clifton House in Rotherham (which now serves as the Rotherham Museum) or moved between the two homes with his family.