Candlestick

ca. 1848 (made)

Pugin, Augustus Welby Northmore

Height: 34.5 cm, Width: 16.5 cm

M.35-1972 MET

Gilt brass, made by John Hardman and Co., Birmingham, 1844-5, designed by A.W.N. Pugin.

Gilt brass (one of a pair). Circular base with moulded edge; engraved "Christi Crux Est Mea Lux". Annulated tubular stem broken by a flat pierced roundel engraved with foliated ornament and enclosing Pugin's arms and motto, "En Avant." Circular drip pan with fleur-de-lis cresting. Plain nozzle with moulded edge.

The V&A acquired this candlestick and its pair in 1972, a period when the reputation of nineteenth-century art was undergoing rehabilitation. When new, the candlesticks formed part of a set created by Pugin for his family home in Ramsgate, Kent. Pugin designed The Grange in 1844. Its influence on the development of English housing was profound. As examples of furnishings from the house, and as rare items of Pugin's domestic metalwork, the candlesticks were a significant acquisition. Pugin designed many variations. An entry in the daybook of John Hardman and Company, dated 24 September 1844, headed "Ramsgate, A.W. Pugin Esqre", includes "A pair of CSticks with Arms, £14. 10s." Further examples were shown in a catalogue of 1846 but it is likely that these date from 1848. They bear Pugin's 'En Avant' motto and his arms supported by lions from the arms of his wife Jane Knill whom he married in August that year. Similar candlesticks were illustrated with a group of Pugin's 'Ecclesiastical Vessels' from the Great Exhibition in the Art Journal of 1851 claiming they 'fully realise the style and artistic feeling of the best works of the middle ages.'

The Museum bought these candlesticks in 1972 from Thomas Stainton, the executor of the estate of Charles and Lavinia Handley-Read for £137.50 These candlesticks formed part of a set designed by Pugin in a large and small size, for use in the house that he built for himself at Ramsgate. He moved into the Grange in 1844. An entry in the Hardman day book for 1838-44, dated 24 September 1844, and headed "Ramsgate, A.W. Pugin Esqre", includes the following item: A pair of CSticks with Arms, £14. 10s". These two must have been prototypes for the set. Pugin designed many variations however. Further examples were shown in a catalogue of 1846 but it is likely that these date from 1848. They bear Pugin's 'En Avant' motto and his arms supported by lions from the arms of his wife Jane Knill whom he married in August that year. Historical significance: The V&A acquired this candlestick and its pair in 1972, a period when the reputation of nineteenth-century art was undergoing rehabilitation. When new, the candlesticks formed part of a set created by Pugin for his family home in Ramsgate, Kent. Pugin designed The Grange in 1844. Its influence on the development of English housing was profound. As examples of furnishings from the house, and as rare items of Pugin's domestic metalwork, the candlesticks were a significant acquisition. Similar candlesticks were illustrated with a group of Pugin's 'Ecclesiastical Vessels' from the Great Exhibition in the Art Journal of 1851 claiming they 'fully realise the style and artistic feeling of the best works of the middle ages.'

Formerly in the collection of Charles and Lavinia Handley-Read.

Location: Metalware, room 116, case 1

View this object on the V&A website