Candlestick (one of a pair)

Accession Number

Candlestick (one of a pair)

John Carter

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support

12 1/2 in. x 4 15/16 in. x 4 15/16 in. ( 31.7 cm x 12.5 cm x 12.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Raymond C. Smith

Label copy
March 28, 2009
These meticulously detailed candlesticks adopt the form of a fluted column topped by a composite capital, thereby adapting one of the classical architectural orders developed in ancient Greece and Rome to the design of a household object made for wealthy patrons.
The candlesticks were made by John Carter, one of London’s foremost silversmiths in the 1770s and 80s. Their design reveals the influence of the Scottish architect and designer Robert Adam (1728–1792), who popularized the Neoclassical style in English architecture and the decorative arts through numerous commissions and publications.

Subject matter
This meticulously detailed candlestick is in the form of a fluted column topped with a composite capital, which is one of the classical architectural orders developed in ancient Greece and Rome. The adaptation of ornament from Antiquity for this candlestick reflects the reigning English taste of the time for neoclassical style, which was popularized, in particular, by the architect and designer Robert Adam.

Physical Description
This silver candlestick, one of a pair, is in the shape of a fluted column topped by a composite capital composed of a double row of acanthus leaves and four volutes at the corners. The column rests upon a stepped base made of four squares of diminishing size, the first and fourth of which are marked with a pattern of strigillations.

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area

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capitals (column components)
columns (architectural elements)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted