9334 A Fine Pair of Paktong Candlesticks

This is a fine pair of early George III candlesticks, and the unusual aspect of them is that they are made of paktong.  Paktong is an alloy of base metals - copper, nickel and zinc which in the correct proportions resembles silver, although with a very slightly yellowish hue.   It was invented by the Chinese as an alloy for Imperial use, and a few pieces were exported in the early 18th century.  The alloy was analysed and reproduced in Britain from c.1740 for use, primarily as candlesticks, but also as fire grates and a few other domestic wares.

This pair date from about 1765 (this can be ascertained by comparison with hallmarked silver models), and are complete with their bobeches (drip pans).  A very unusual feature of this pair is that they are, in addition to being cast with fluted and reeded columns and corinthian capitals, engraved with floral motifs and with heraldic crests.  As Paktong is a very hard alloy which tends to 'chip' with a graving tool, engraved decoration is very seldom seen.

Date: c.1765

Dimensions: 11.7", 29.8 cm. high.

Price: UK customers £2,500, US customers $4,000, Euro customers €3,125, Australian customers $4,375

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