A handsome pair of English Regency old Sheffield plate candlesticks with original candelabra attachments & sconces, by the foremost maker, the brilliant Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boulton (1728 -1809).
Terrific original condition, with lightly ‘bled borders’, double sun marks
UK origin c 1805
Height 56cm x 44cm across.
PRICE inc GST SOLD
The work of Matthew Boulton is frequently found in Tasmania. One can presume that large quantities were imported early in the post 1804 settlement of the island. The Colonial press, in auction notices & broadsides printed from 1814 differentiates between ‘plate’ [silver] & ‘plated’ (Sheffield plate or copper fused silver). Silver was practically unprocurable.
English silver was virtually unknown. In September 1825, the Colonial Auditor of Hobart, George Boyes, had to go to Sydney & resented buying “plate of Chinese manufacture horribly rough & mean looking” from the silversmith James Robertson “the greatest rogue in Sydney”. Lighting seems to have been candle light. Whale oil, available from 1805 & mostly exported , seems to have been burnt in cheap American pewter burners for lighting. A high number of those fittings survive. Ornamental ‘Argand’ lamps, for burning whale oil, are not advertised until 1831 & were (as now) very rare.
Therefore it would seem, lighting devices such as this pair of plated candelabra represented the general best effort for raising the mood of tables in Colonial Tasmania.