The Spencer House Candelabra
A Pair of George II Ormolu Three-Light Candelabra. Designed by James Stuart
A highly important pair of George II ormolu three light Candelabra, each with a central acanthus nozzle and beaded drip pan, supported by a spiral acanthus branch, above an urn with Vitruvian-Scroll rim and spiral fluted neck. The body with two branches with nozzles and drip pans on a spiral fluted socle. All above three reeded and husked c scroll supports standing on a concave side triangular plinth.
English, circa 1760
Width: 13” 34 cm
Depth: 8” 21 cm
Height: 20” 51 cm
Supplied to John Spencer, later 1st Earl Spencer (1734-83) for the Painted Room at Spencer House, London.
Thence by descent at Spencer House to Albert Edward John, 7th Earl Spencer (1892-1975), He opened his ancestral home, Althorp, to the public and was a well-known art connoisseur, being a trustee of the Wallace Collection and chairman of the Royal School of Needlework. He was a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Royal Society of Arts, and for eight years in the 1960s he was Chair of the Advisory Council of the Victoria and Albert Museum by whom moved to Althorp House, Northamptonshire circa 1926 and thence by descent.
Spencer House is one of the finest 18th century houses in London. The house was originally designed in 1756 by John Vardy, a pupil of William Kent, who was then superseded by James ‘Athenian’ Stewart in 1758. Vardy made it his showcase for classical design and entertaining a number of guests. Around 1783 the house was remodelled again, this time by Henry Holland. The house belonged for over 150 years to the Spencer family but they moved out for the last time in 1926 when it became a private members club.
JAMES ‘Anthenian’ STUART
Designer- James ‘Athenian’ Stuart
James ‘Anthenian’ Stuart was a hugely influential figure in British design, his career spanned across multiple fields including, interior decoration, sculpture, furnishing, metalwork and architecture. He was central to bringing Greek revival back in vogue in England in the 18th Century, and this revival was centred around the publication of his book ‘Antiquities of Athens’ in 1762.
Stuarts book was inspired by his research in Greece and was the first accurate record of Classical Greek architecture. It served as a principal research book for architects and designers well into the 19th Century, and continues to be referenced today.
Pictorial dictionary of British 18th century Furniture design Compiled by Elizabeth White pg 301, Plate VII