This elegant candlestick along with it's mate (W-3549/A-B) are likely one of two matching pairs that George Washington purchased from Philadelphia silversmith Rowland Parry on May 30, 1796. Described as "Octagonal plated," they were among an array of lighting devices used in the executive mansion that also included Argand lamps and silverplated candlesticks described as plain, oval, and "spangle" - the last perhaps in reference to glittering or sequin like ornament. They were fitted with removable bobeches (collars to catch dripping wax) for easy cleaning. When placed on the presidential dining table, they would have harmonized with Washington's classically inspired table ornaments, porcelain, and glassware.
Fused silverplate on copper, die-stamped candlestick with outward flaring, octagonal candle cup and tapering octagonal stem on cove-molded, octagonal base; beaded borders separate each of the distinctive sections of the candlestick; the exterior of the cup, the stem, and the top of the base are decorated with fluting; the collar at the top of the stem is stamped with a repeating swag and drapery design around all eight sides; the collar at the base of the stem is stamped with acanthus leaves; around the outer edge of the top of the base, acanthus leaves punctuate the interstices of the fluting; the body and base are weighted; the base is covered in green felt.
Octagonal bobeche of fused silverplate on copper; die-stamped beaded border around edge of bezel; soldered to the bezel is a stamped and curved sleeve that fits into the candle socket.
Fused silverplate on copper
Overall (C): 10 3/8 in. x 4 7/8 in. x 4 7/8 in. (26.37 cm x 12.4 cm x 12.4 cm)
Overall (D): 1 5/16 in. x 2 9/16 in. x 2 9/16 in. (3.33 cm x 6.5 cm x 6.5 cm)
Bequest of G. Freeland Peter, Jr., 1991
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon
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