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ElgaKoster

Dating Brass Candlesticks?

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ElgaKoster

I bought this brass candlestick in Norway at a charity shop, style wise it reminds me of 17th century candlesticks but I don't think this one is a real antique. So I was wondering, anyone know how to date candlesticks? I know so little about how metal items were made...and of course I am planning on making it in mini. If anyone can tell me more about the techniques used in making the different parts that would be great.

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I really like the base with its seperate drip pan.

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It has a pricket at the top for a big candle.

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I unscrewed it to clean it, the bottom edge of the base is folded in on itself. The hex nut is the part that makes me think this is a reproduction or just based on 17th century style as I don't think hex nuts are that old.

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The screw is set into the bottom of the candlestick with lead.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Hi Elga, Be careful, collecting these on foreign trips can be addictive. What you have here is a modern, as in second half of the 20th century adaptation of a a older design. Here are a few clues, it lacks wear of any kind. If it were 300 years old it would have been dropped at least once. It has many parts made from spun brass and this was done poorly leaving tool marks which you rarely see on old ones. The hex nut is wrong, it would have been square and the male thread is clearly a modern standard size and made by rolling. It should have been hand filed.

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Bill Hudson

I agree with Bill, the spun parts are not very well done. This looks like stuff that came out of India a few years back.

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Catherine Ronan

I have done some spinning both in miniature and 1: 1 scale. It is great fun. True enough leaving spinning marks is a rather bad call on the part of whom ever left them.

 

One of my pet peeves... Brass from India. They don't even bother to get rid of all the file marks.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Hi Elga, with the 200th Bicentennial in the US in 1976, Craft House in Williamsburg, Virginia had a catalog of reproductions of Colonial Williamsburg.  I looked in this resource catalog, and I could not find an exact copy, and couldn't find anything similar.  I also looked at Baldwin's candlesticks to see if I could find you a match, but I wasn't able to find it.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Thank you Bill for the info...too late, I was born with the collecting addiction gene, although not antique at all, I have made a point of buyng one piece of Norwegian made pewter each time I went to Norway, a much nicer souvenir than the regular touristy stuff at the airports etc. When my mom went over to visit the first time she bought us each a cup made in a Norwegian porcelain factory and I thought that was a great idea.

Back to the candlestick, I bought it mainly because I thought it would be fun to make a miniature version from a real candlestick as opposed to from a photo and it was dirt cheap, I haven't found anything old or with a nice shape in SA yet that I could afford to buy, most candlesticks here at the antique fairs are also 20th century and usually the horrible, cheap roughly casted ones.

And because I am curious, how old is the spinning technique?

And thank you to everyone else who has commented, much appreciated.

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ElgaKoster

Today we had an antique fair and at the first table I found this brass chamber candlestick, I think/hope that it is an older one...maybe Victorian, it is so hard to tell, I did see quite a few more but it was easy to tell that most of them were the cheap and badly made ones. I think this one must have had a candle snuffer at one time as it has a hole for it in the front of the carrying ring, the ring is also fastened with copper rivets and this candlestick has had quite a few accidents. A friend and I have wanted to make one of these for more than a year now, so it will be nice to have a real example to work from. If this is quite old I would like to know what one can expect to pay for it in its dented condition in the US, it would be interesting to compare with what I paid for it here as antiques are relatively cheap in SA or so I think in any case. Looking forward to hear your opinions on the age of this one.

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All the rubbish that you see in the left front was in the candlestick with more being stuck to the sides.

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Wm. R. Robertson

I would guess this is English and from 1850 to 1910. From what I can see of the threads it might be in the later range. On eBay these seem to range in $ 20. To $ 60.

Right now most antique brass is really low, I just bought a large German stick from about 1680 - 1710, came with two repros in a lot from a well known Boston auction house, hammer w/ buyers premium was $ 130. Very cheap! In the same sale was a nice pair of brass rococo sticks, estimate, $ 300 - 500, hammer price was $ 1400. So good stuff still sells?

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ElgaKoster

Thank you Bill, I paid the equivalent of about $15 for this one. Good stuff will always sell I think, there generally seem to be a few people out there with money.

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Bill Hudson

Good morning Elga,

 I don't see this as an antique; at least not a very old one. This is what I see. The base tray is the give away for me.  It definitely looks to have been machine stamped. From the pictures I do not see any signs of hand work.  The main give away of reproduction for me is the round dent at the sharp edge. It is too perfect and looks to have been deliberately made. To bend something on a sharp edge like that would have taken quite a blow, not a drop, and it would have not be so perfect looking. It looks to have been backed up with a stake (in automotive body work a hand held backer called a dolly) with a corresponding cavity in it.  The other dent was done free hand and you can see how it is not so defined and the metal around it is distorted in a more casual way; It appears t have been made with a glancing blow with the edge of a hammer head.  The smaller dents on the inside around the handle look deliberate but random all made from the same instrument. These dents are done from the inside and are perpendicular with the face of the side. India is very good about producing items like that. I got fooled by a brass carriage lamp one time. 

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WeekendMiniaturist

I like the "pusher" part on the candlestick, as I have not seen this before and I think it makes a wonderful interesting specimen to make as a miniature...I like the square bottom instead of round  :).

 

There is a pair of candlesticks on eBay that is attributed to 18th century Huguenot French Brass Push up sockets....  I've been living in the Georgian period of research, and I'm not remembering seeing a lot of candlesticks in my recent book browsing activities.

 

I am no help in the ability to verify antique status in real life - I just buy what I like and pay what I think it is worth -  if its beautiful, affordable and I have space, it is likely to come stay with me for a while...

 

Current market values can be established by researching eBay for lowest values and auction sites for highest values to give you a range, but the problem is that you seldom are able to match items precisely.  Antique dealers websites give you retail value - but just because they want "xx" doesn't mean it sells in real life.   

 

If you want to put yourself to the test, get a ticket for the antiques roadshow appraisals mini or life size... then you will know if you collect the good stuff!  

 

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

Well, whether it is old or an India rip-off...this one is much better made than any of the others I saw and has a very nice shape on the stick part itself.

And Tamra, my philosophy in buying anything is basically the same as yours, if I like it and want it whether it is antique, vintage, modern or a reproduction it comes to stay with me too :-)

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ElgaKoster

Bill Hudson's comment about the chamber stick not showing signs of being handmade made me curious as to how candlesticks were produced over the last few centuries...surely by Victorian times at least some items were already made by casting and stamping?

I found these two interesting links, the first link deals with silver candlesticks.

http://www.ascasonline.org/articoloFEBBRA167.html

http://www.rarity4u.com/index.php/knowledge/articles/silverware-metalware/77-how-to-date-brass-candlesticks

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WeekendMiniaturist

Nice links Elga.  I like the drawing of all the different candlesticks that is referencing Silver candlesticks.  Creating all those candlesticks in 1/12th scale would be a fun project - instead of a box a month, how about a candlestick per month?

 

No candlesticks for me right now - but quite tempting, as at present time I've committed to an inch of petitpoint per month.

 

Tamra

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ElgaKoster

A pdf on 14th to 18th century candlesticks I found this morning on a few websites, it dates from 1926, I haven't had time yet to read the whole thing but it looks good.

http://www.incorporationofgoldsmiths.org/content/media/Curle-Alexander-O-Domestic-Candlesticks-from-the-Fourteenth-to-the-End-of-the-Eighteenth-Century-PSAS-vol-60-1925-26.pdf

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WeekendMiniaturist

Elga, Did you notice in the first paragraph the author is refer's to Percy Macquoid's Dictionary of English Furniture?  Vol ii?

 

Very nice resource for the study of candlesticks.  I will have to review the book, too.

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ElgaKoster

I did Tamra...and wondered if you would notice that :-)

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