About this lot


maker's mark poorly struck, possibly that of John Bache, London 1700, each with gadroon edged octagonal base, the splayed foot of the reeded column with escutcheon shaped cartouche engraved with the crest of SPARROW, low placed hexagonal knop and integral wax pan, width of base, 12cm, 19cm in height, scratch weight to the underside, 19.5ozt gross (2)Footnote: The crest is believed to pertain to the gentry family of Sparrow, of Cheshire and Staffordshire. Given the date of manufacture of the candlesticks, they may well have been acquired by John Sparrow, Gentleman, or by his son Ambrose. Unfortunately, there is little genealogical information available relating to John. His son, Ambrose (1670 -1734), was of Wybunbury, Cheshire. During the late 18th Century, a later member of the family and once high Sheriff of Staffordshire, John Sparrow (1736 - 1821), acquired Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge in Staffordshire.In March, 1697, the minimum standard for English silver was raised from 'Sterling' - 925/1000 pure silver - to 'Britannia' - 958.4/1000 pure silver - as part of the great re-coinage scheme of William III, in an attempt to limit the clipping and melting of Sterling silver coinage. The higher standard meant that Sterling silver coins could not easily be used as a source of raw material because additional fine silver, which was in short supply at the time, would have to be added to bring the purity of the alloy up to the higher standard. Although the minimum standard returned to 'Sterling' in 1720, 'Britannia' standard continued alongside, to the present day. Condition report: Overall in good condition considering the age. Some surface scratches and minor dents and dings as to be expected. Some minor bruising to the column and lower fluting on one. Upper section of the base (the polished section below the fluted area with the crest) a little dished and evidence of a minor repair to the base of the column on the other. Both stand firm on a flat surface with no wobble. Crest and assay marks clear and crisp, though the maker's mark a little indistinct. (Makers sometimes struck their own mark before submitting to the assay office, and many were not as skilled as the assay makers!)

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