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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Candlestick (one of a pair)

Master "RW" (Swedish, Upsala, early 18th century)
ca. 1710–20
Swedish, Uppsala
Silver, partially gilt
H. 8 1/2 in. (21.5 cm.); D. standing 5 3/4 in. (15 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
Early-eighteenth-century Swedish silver of such a commanding quality is exceedingly rare. These refined candlesticks reflect the stylistic adaptations and the high standard of craftsmanship of the master gold- and silversmiths in Uppsala, a northern European university town. The objects' delicate ornamental vocabulary constitutes an elegant and refreshing version of what could be defined as a Swedish interpretation of the style of French designer Jean Berain. In I687 Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger (i654-1728) visited Versailles and was fired with a deep admiration for the elaborate trappings with which Louis XIV was enshrining himself as absolute monarch. Later Tessin, responsible for the design of the New Royal Palace in Stockholm, was able to create one of the finest examples of the contemporary French idiom, mirroring now the exalted and powerful position of the Swedish king in northern Europe. French artists participated in the palace's interior decoration and thus influenced local artisans such as the maker of these candlesticks. The octagonal, incised lobbed stand of this candlestick form, however, is more closely associated with German silver, espe- cially with pieces made in Augsburg. The goldsmith may have encountered such mod- els and patterns during the requisite travels as a journeyman before becoming a master of the Uppsala silversmith guild.
Marking: Stamped (on rim of foot) with the mark of an unidentified silversmith: RW
[ Herbert M. Ritter , Munich, until 2003; sold to MMA ]
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