The gilt bronze is part of a series designed by the architect James ‘Athenian’ Stuart and made by the London metalworker Diederich Andersen, c.1760, several years before the classical revival became the peak of Georgian fashion.
Matthew Boulton is known to have purchased items from Andersen’s stock following his death in 1767, elements of which he copied for his own candelabra vases made in the 1770s.
Other examples of this Stuart-Andersen design form part of the collections of Her Majesty the Queen and the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2010, as part of Christie’s sale of items from Spencer House, the London townhouse of the Spencer family until 1924, a pair of three-light candelabra dated 1758-65 sold for £180,000.
This single example to a less elaborate design formed part of the sale at Sworders (25% buyer’s premium) titled Let There be Light – The Christopher Butterworth Collection on April 21. This Essex auction comprised 250 lots from Pimlico Road dealer Christopher Butterworth including both typical stock items (for many years he has specialised in antique lighting of all periods) and a significant selection of items from his personal collection.
This candelabrum, estimated at £8000-12,000, topped proceedings at £11,000.