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Uncertainty of origin counselled auctioneer Mark Stephen in a conservative estimate of £3000-5000, which corresponded to the value of Dutch and German sticks of this size, style and period.

The academic consensus a decade or so ago was that sticks of this type had been imported from the Continent, but since then research has shown that Elizabeth I established a native brass industry during the early years of her reign when English dependence on mainland Europe was undesirable for financial and political reasons. Similar examples in the Lear collection are now considered English by pre-eminent specialist Christopher Bangs.

This candlestick was large at 131/4in (33cm) high, but it would not have fetched so much as £12,000 (plus 15 per cent premium) from the London trade had it been thought to be German or Dutch, rather than English.