A silver torchere or candlestick, one of a pair, with matching table and mirror – this set thought to be one of only two of their type in Britain, the other being in the Royal Collection.
One of a pair of torchères, cased in silver, with baluster and tripod supports. Both are chaised with acanthus foliage and with masks and festoons of fruits on the centre knop. The circular tops are chased in high relief with similar decoration, bearing Frances Sackville’s cypher surmounted by a Countess’s coronet. The torchère are marked and were made in London in 1676. They come ensuite with a large pier mirror, dated c.1676 (130034) and a large pier table made in 1680-81 (130035). Following the fashion set by Louis XIV at Versailles, silver furniture was made in England after 1660 until about 1710. In France, every piece was melted down on the king’s orders in 1689 and afterwards to pay for his military campaigns. In England three major sets survive: two at the Royal Collection in Windsor Castle, which belonged to Charles II and William III respectively, and the one at Knole.
Presumably acquired by Frances Sackville, Countess of Dorset together with a matching pier glass, c.1676 and a pier table, dated 1680. Knole and the majority of its furniture were accepted by HM Treasury in part payment of death duties and transferred to the National Trust in 1946.
Arminjon 2007: Catherine Arminjon (ed.), Quand Versailles était meublé d’argent (ex. cat.), Paris 2007