9133 A VERY RARE PAIR OF WALNUT WILLIAM AND MARY TORCHÈRES English. Circa 1690. Measurements: Height: 36″ (91.5 cm) Diameter: 15 1/4″ (39 cm)
Of walnut ebony and bone. The octagonal top with raised rim inlaid with eight-pointed star of ebony and bone, the pierced double-bind, barley twist stem centered with a turned collar, the stem set on a polygonal base with molded rim raised on three ebonized bun feet. Minor repairs consistent with age and use.
In his book English Furniture 1660-1714: From Charles II to Queen Anne, Adam Bowett illustrates a candlestand of strikingly similar form to the present examples, pointing out the rarity of the pierced double-bind turning (figure 1). The close similarity of the pieces is not limited to the form and construction of the stem, but also extends to the shaped and inlaid base raised on bun feet and the tray to the top.1
Bowett also illustrates a rare engraving of 1686 from Dr Robert Plott’s The Natural History of Staffordshire (figure 2) which depicts the turning lathe devised by John Ensor of Tamworth for executing the immensely skilled work of creating the twisting stems of these pieces.
- Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714: From Charles II to Queen Anne, Woodbridge (2002), p. 122.