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A Set of Four Paktong Candlesticks

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A fine and rare set of four Paktong candlesticks of architectural form, the stop fluted columns with Corinthian capitals on square bases with gadroon borders, and conforming loose nozzles.

English circa 1770.

A rare Chinese alloy imported in small quantities during the 18th century, Paktong was used by European craftsmen to make domestic objects, especially candlesticks, in imitation of silverware. It is a very hard metal, slow to tarnish, and could therefore be used to make articles that looked like silver but were in fact as a hard as iron. The Adams brothers employed the metal in the making of fire tools and for the the more decorative elements of a fire grate. Paktong was shrouded in mystery from when it was first discovered in China by western travellers in the 17th century, the vital ingredient, nickel, which will produce the silver coloured metal when alloyed with copper, was not identified until the second half of the 18th century and it was a further 50 years before a viable imitation could be produced in the west.

h.11 inches x 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches

Item Code: 1852

£ 4950

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