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Bonnie Prince Charlie candle snuffers come to light at auction in the West Country

06 November 2008Written by ATG Reporter

A PAIR of silver 18th century Dutch candle snuffers thought to have been a gift from Bonnie Prince Charlie sold for £9800 at Hampton & Littlewood of Exeter on October 30. Measuring 8in (20cm) high, the snuffers and holder were passed down through the MacDonald family to the descendant who entered them for auction.

After his disastrous defeat by the English at Culloden Moor in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie took refuge at the Skye home of Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald before fleeing to France.

As a token of his appreciation, it is thought that he may have given the MacDonald family the pair of candle snuffers and holder, which bears their crest of a mailed clenched fist holding a crosslet.

Bearing shell and thistle tassel engraving to the snuffers and tulip and Holbeinesque decoration to the holder, the pieces weighed a total of 8.25oz and were hallmarked for Amsterdam 1744 with a maker's mark for Jan Diederik Pont, who was Master of the Amsterdam Guild in 1729 and died in 1767.

Estimated at £1000-1200, a private British buyer stretched to £9800 to secure them. The buyer's premium was 17.5 per cent buyer's premium.

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Written by

ATG Reporter

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