Paktong Tapersticks

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Material: Paktong
Dimensions: Height: 11.5cm / 4 ½in, Base: 10cm / 3 ¾in
Place of Origin: Probably England
Date: Circa 1690 – 1710
Maker or Retailer: Unknown
Present Location: Private collection


These tapersticks are believed to be the second earliest recorded examples of the use of paktong in Europe. This model, with its square, cut-corner base and acorn-knopped stem, is very similar to silver candlesticks made in the years around 1700 by Huguenot silversmiths like Pierre Harache.

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Stem and socket are a one-piece casting and the connection with the base is probably by means of a screw thread, but the joints are obscured by later solder repairs. The bases appear to have been raised from substantial sheet metal rather than cast, an unusual characteristic shared with some other early English paktong candlesticks and possibly adopted by the craftsmen in response to difficulties encountered in working with an unfamiliar alloy, very prone to casting flaws.


  • These tapersticks are illustrated and discussed by Keith Pinn, Paktong, the Chinese Alloy in Europe 1680 – 1820,  Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk,1999, ISBN 1851493247, pp. 81-83, pl.32

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