Snuffer Stand

Philip Syng Jr. American

Not on view

One of the finest examples of rococo silver made in colonial America, this snuffer stand would originally have supported a pair of scissor-shaped snuffers used to trim the burnt wicks of candles before self-consuming wicks were invented around 1840. The crest engraved at the center of the stand is that of the Hamilton family. This crest was known to have been used by the descendants of Alexander Hamilton (ca. 1676–1741) of Philadelphia and probably belonged to Andrew’s grandson William Hamilton (1745–1813). An exact mate to this snuffer stand is in the collection of Burghley House in Lincolnshire, one of England’s greatest Elizabethan houses. While its arrival in England is undocumented, a possible link is through Elizabeth Burrell, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton (1757–1837), who in 1800 married Henry Cecil, 10th Earl and 1st Marquess of Exeter (1754–1804). The present snuffer stand eventually belonged to Charles Allen Munn (1859–1924), publisher of Scientific American, who bequeathed his collection of silver, paintings, and prints to the Metropolitan Museum in 1924.

Snuffer Stand, Philip Syng Jr. (1703–1789), Silver, American

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