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Thomas Pitts A Superb Pair of Rococo-Revival Candlesticks

Silver-gilt
London, 1806
Maker’s mark of Thomas Pitts

Height: 10.5in, 26.5 cm
Weight: 85oz 16dwt, 2,668g

The crests are those of Duncan and Haldane, probably for Adam, Viscount Duncan (1812-1867), who succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Camperdown of Lundie on 22 December 1859.
 

Provenance

Purchased from Spink & Son Ltd., 1982

Silversmith Biography

Son of Thomas Pitts of the Parish of St. Mary Whitechapel, apprenticed to Charles Hatfield 6 December 1737 and turned over to David Willaume (II) February 1742. Free, 16 January 1744. The mark now attributed here to him must have been entered not long after the start of the missing register of 1758-73, and he appears as plateworker, Air Street, St.James's, in the Parl. Report list 1773. Heal records him as working silversmith and chaser, Golden Cup, 20 Air Street, Piccadilly, 1767-93. The 'Workmen's Ledgers' of Parker and Wakelin (Garrard MSS., Victoria & Albert Museum) contain many pages of accounts from Pitts for epergnes from 1766, from which the identification of the mark, formerly attributed to Thomas Powell, in absence of any other evidence was natural enough. His three sons, Thomas, William and Joseph were all apprenticed to him in Air Street, 1767, 1769 and 1772. It is interesting to note that Joseph was apprenticed to his father and turned over the same day to Philip Day plate casemaker and leatherseller and described as plate casemaker on attaining his freedom in 1781. The continuous need for cases for the output of epergnes and centrepieces must have led to a close connection with Day probably a desire to have a member of the family sharing in the business arising.

Description

The candlesticks in the Rococo manner, on shaped circular bases with cup-shaped nozzles, the whole decorated in relief with flowers, scrolls, foliage & shells, leaf-matting, grotesque masks, reptiles, insects & molluscs.
The candlesticks engraved on the sconces and below the capitals with a Viscount's coronet and two small crests below their mottoes.
 

A Superb Pair of Rococo-Revival Candlesticks Reference: 23488.1