M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
PAIR OF GEORGE II CAST SILVER CANDLESTICKS
Arthur Annesley, London, 1759
Crested for the Family of Leeson, Russborough, Wicklow Co Ireland
In the rococo fashion,
each raised on a stepped and shaped square base with asymmetrically arranged shell and foliate corners,
below a knopped and wrythen stem, the larger upper knop with further shell and scroll decoration,
below a French gadrooned spool socket with detachable asymmetrical shell and leaf bobeche;
crested to the foot :
A demi-lion rampant gules, holding between the paws a sun in splendour or (family of Leeson) ;
under the crest wreath is engraved a mullet as a mark of cadency for a third son
(Brice Leeson, 3rd Earl of Russborough);
marked to the inside edge of the foot
This form of Georgian candlestick is usually made in three sections, then soldered together.
The three separate sections of this pair have been retained, the joinery by threading,
and ostensibly for traveling. See below for images.
Condition : Excellent; wear appropriate to age and usage only
10" High / 41.12 oz.
Arthur Annesley worked in Dublin, London and Rotterdam.
"The goldsmith Arthur Annesley appears to have moved to Rotterdam after declaring bankruptcy in London in 1762"
A mark recorded as his has been found on several Rotterdam-marked objects dated from 1767 to 1778.
Among his earlier London-marked work is a set of three covered boxed for tea and sugar,
based on rococo designs for silver published by John Linnell (1723-1796) by 1760.
These boxes, which are dated 1758, are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A silver basket bearing the mark Arthur Annesley, from Rotterdam, 1764, Christies London 2009,
realized GBP 9,375
Marks Left Example
Marks Right Example
The crest as engraved upon this Pair of George II English Sterling Silver Cast Candlesticks
by Arthur Annesley hallmarked London 1759 is that of the family of Leeson.
It may be blazoned as follows:
Crest: A demi-lion rampant gules holding between the paws a sun in splendour or
Under the crest wreath is engraved a mullet as a mark of cadency for a third son.
Undoubtedly this handsome pair of candlesticks belonged to a third son of the Leeson family
who were Earls of Milltown within the Peerage of Ireland.
The earldom being created on the 10th May 1763. Joseph Leeson, the 1st Earl of Milltown
was also created Baron Russborough (5th May 1756) and Viscount Russborough (8th September 1760) as with the earldom,
both the Barony and Viscountcy of Russborough were within the Peerage of Ireland. Russborough,
near Blessington in the County of Wicklow being the family seat of the Leesons.
Given the evidence of the engraved cadency mark of a mullet for a third son
and that in style the engraving of the crest is in my opinion is contemporaneous with the candlesticks,
the only candidate for ownership would be Brice Leeson (born 20th December 1735 died 10th January 1807),
the third son of Joseph Leeson, the 1st Earl of Milltown and his first wife, Cecilia Leigh (died 29th October 1731),
the eldest daughter of Francis Leigh, of Rathangan in the County of Kildare.
Brice succeeded as the 3rd Earl of Milltown on the death of his brother, Joseph Leeson (born 1730),
the 2nd Earl of Milltown on the 27th November 1801.
Therefore, as there are no heraldic incidents (i.e. an earl's coronet)
engraved in association with Brice's crest upon the candlesticks they predate Brice's succession as the 3rd Earl of Milltown.
Brice married Maria Graydon (died 25th July 1772) on the 25th October 1765.
She was the daughter of John Graydon, of Dublin in the County of Dublin,
by his wife Cassandra Tahourdin, the daughter of Gabriel Tahourdin, of Wanstead in the County of Essex.
The Tahourdins were Huguenot refugees from Anjou who became merchants in the City of London.
Upon Brice's death in 1807, he was succeeded as the 4th Earl of Milltown by his grandson,
Joseph Leeson (born 11th February 1799 died 31st January 1866).
The Earldom of Milltown, together the Viscountcy and Barony of Russborough
have been dormant since the death of Henry Leeson, the 7th Earl of Milltown on the 24th March 1891
for want of a proven male heir to the peerages.
Russborough House in County Wicklow, Ireland, is among the most stately houses in Ireland,
and reputed to be the longest house, with a frontage measuring 210 m/700 ft.
It is one of the first examples of Palladian architecture, designed by Richard Cassels for Joseph Leeson,
1st Earl of Milltown and built between 1741 and 1755.
The interior of the house contains some ornate plasterwork on the ceilings by the Lafranchini brothers,
who also collaborated with Cassels on Carton House.
Heraldry by John Tunesi of Liongam
MSc, FSA Scot, Hon FHS, QG
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