1897 "Queen of Diamond" Signed Victoria's Jubilee Brass Candlesticks
These are a beautiful and clearly marked, signed or stamped pair of "Queen of Diamond" original English brass push-up candle sticks. They were made as a commemoration piece to honour Queen Victoria's amazing 60 year reign from 1837-1897 and her 1897 Diamond Jubilee on 20 June 1897. She died in 1901, the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the Edwardian era, with her son Edward VII 1841-1910 then taking the crown.
These were manufactured by James Clews & Sons in Birmingham, England at their company known as the Manilla Works. Samuel Clews is known to have begun work there in at least 1835. A high quality brass foundry, they were and one of the leading makers of candlesticks and many household brass objects in England at the time.
This pair has the original old iron push ups, a great clue to their age and provenance, see below. When buying these diamond candlesticks, one looks for 2 specific properties for authenticity: 1) A clear stamp on the square base of either "Ace of Diamond", "King of Diamond" and/or "Queen of Diamond" 2) push-up rods on the underside or at least a remnant or sign that they were once intact. 3) High quality sticks with a good weight. (Please note there are thousands of unmarked and lightweight reproductions on the market, and also with no evidence of the early push up mechanism)
In collecting early antique candlesticks, it is wise to look at the top collar or bobeche for signs of bending or having been dropped. Brass is a soft metal and this is often where early hands held the stick. These sticks are in good order. They exhibit a beautiful diamond commemorative shaped "knop" below, as seen in photos. The "knop" term can first be found in the bible referring to the ornament of the golden candlestick. It can also seen used as "knopped", referring to having ornamental knops or knobs.
Condition note: This pair is beautiful, heavy, bright and clean with great antique bras patina. We would not suggest cleaning, as the original patina is highly prized in the antique world. We note that rarely on these early antique sticks is the push up rod working or even intact, and most times they are not. This is a given on most early candlesticks of any age. They became clogged in wax in the stem, and often were broken in trying to push or eject when stuck.
The pusher rod was meant to be kept clean with boiling water, thus are often missing and broken. This pair has one completely intact and working push up, and the other is intact with the flat pusher top missing, which does not move. Does this inhibit their use in any way? No, and why rod pushers are generally ignored at all in antique dealer descriptions.
The powerful beloved 19th century Queen Victoria 1819–1901 influenced many commemorative events, celebrations, and souvenirs worldwide in her lifetime. Her illustrious Victorian era refers to the period of her long reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901 at age 81 years. The Clews company produced these brass candlesticks in 2 known designs in various sizes. This pair are 300 cm, or a wee bit over 11 inches in height. This design proved exceedingly popular for the company and were in production until the late 1930's, when sadly the European war broke out. We feel this heavy set is of the period circa 1900 by the weight, quality and intact old early corked push up rods.
These were found along the Thames in Richmond, London, England. Click images to see their lovely condition in close up views.
Size: 11 inches tall
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)
BOOK: The Jacobites and Their Drinking Glasses: Geoffrey Seddon, 1995