Anthony Nelme

( 1723 )

A Pair of Royal Wall Sconces

Anthony Nelme

( 1723 )

A Pair of Royal Wall Sconces

Queen Anne
London, 1713
Maker’s mark of Anthony Nelme

The Cypher updated around 1810 to match that of Queen Charlotte, wife to George III.

Height: 52 cm, 20 ½ in.
Weight: 2814 g, 90 oz. 9 dwt.


Campana shaped scones. Back plate in the form of a pilaster with ball knop finial either side of an openwork foliate scroll royal cypher ‘CR’ - Charlotte Regina, Queen and wife of George III - and finished with a scallop shell at the bottom. Originally made for Queen Anne, the cypher was changed circa 1810 for new Queen.

The top is surmounted with a crown, at the mid-point a swaged and tied curtain drapes with foliate scroll engraved decoration. Each has a single S scroll arm with harebells and scrolls, supporting a circular drip pan with fluted band to the underside.

The practice of later adding or updating cyphers was not uncommon, as is shown by a Pair of Andirons, maker’s mark CG, c.1670, with later identical reverse cyphers 'C.R' marked Edward Farrell (Timothy B. Schroder, The Gilbert Collection of Gold and Silver, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988, p. 107). Instead of melting down exquisite pieces such as this pair of Queen Anne Wall Scones, royal pieces particularly were altered to suit the reigning monarch of the time.

Antony Nelme was one of the most prominent silversmiths working in the Queen Anne Style, recognised for the high quality of his technical skill and artistry of design. He made pieces commissioned by Queen Anne, and some for members of the nobility.

Queen Anne (1665-1714) was the first sovereign of Great Britain under the Arts of Union 1707, which united the crowns of England and Scotland into one country, creating the United Kingdom as we know it today. She was a great patron of the arts and was keenly interested in music, poetry, and theatre. It was she who remodelled parts of the Royal Chapel and the Queen’s Drawing Room of Hampton Court Palace in a grand baroque style.

A deaccession by the Yale University Art Gallery to benefit future acquisitions.
From Mrs. James B. Neale in memory of her husband James B. Neale, B.A. 1896.

Anthony Nelme, son of John Nelme, a yeoman of Muchmerkle, Herefordshire, was recorded as an apprentice to Richard Rowley in 1672 and was then made over to Isaac Deighton. Once he was free of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1690, Nelme was elected to the court of assistants in 1703 and was made fourth warden in 1717 and then second warden in 1722. During the period of Huguenot prominence Nelme was the leading English-born goldsmiths and was a signatory to the petitions to the Goldsmith Company wardens protesting the presence of the "necessitous strangers" in London. Queen Anne and the leading members of the aristocracy were some of Nelme's patrons. Among most of his important surviving works are a pair of forty-inch alter candlesticks of 1694 at Saint George's Chapel, Windsor (Honour 1971, p. 122), and a pair of pilgrim bottles of 1715 at Chatsworth (Honour 1971, p. 125).

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Anthony Nelme