Warner, Andrew Ellicott Pair of Antique American Silver Candlesticks, Baltimore, MD, c. 1840
American silver candlesticks from the colonial and antebellum periods are nearly non-existent. This stunning pair is a beautiful example and of magnificent quality. The wide, octagonal bases have a depressed platform surface to act as a drip pan if necessary.
These candlesticks are very heavy and cast. Based on early Georgian (c. 1730) designs, they are constructed similarly to their original models. Only one other set of candlesticks by A. E. Warner is known, based on a later George III style, now in the collection of the Hampton National Historic Site, the home of the Ridgely Family. (See Silver in Maryland, p. 211) The Ridgely family is known to have commissioned other pieces of Georgian style silver at this time.
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, Americans imported much of their silver from abroad, and the candlestick trade was controlled by specialist makers in England. Candlestick making was highly skilled and specialized, and early American candlesticks are almost unheard of because of this.
As Americans began to make more silver in the early/ mid-19th century, there was a declining need for candlesticks as other, brighter, lighting technologies became popular (think of Argand & Sinumbra lamps, gas lighting, kerosene lamps, etc.). It is not until the colonial revival era, and the romanticizing of candlelight, that candlelight became fashionable. One of the remarkable things we've noticed in the Gorham archives is the scarcity of candlesticks being made before about 1880.
These antique candlesticks are marked underneath 'A.E. WARNER/ 11'. They measure just shy of 4 inches across the bases by 6.5 inches tall, weigh a hefty combined 35 troy ounces and are in excellent antique condition.