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Pair of George II Figural Candlesticks

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Francis Nelme, Pair of George II Figural Candlesticks, 1730, silver, Museum Purchase: The William H. Nunn Trust Fund, established in memory of his wife, Alice B. Nunn, public domain, 2012.82.1a,b

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Details
Title

Pair of George II Figural Candlesticks

Artist

Francis Nelme (English, active 1722-1759)

Date

1730

Medium

silver

Dimensions (H x W x D)

each: 8 1/4 in x 5 in x 5 in

Collection Area

Western Decorative Art

Category

Silver

Object Type

candlestick

Culture

English

Credit Line

Museum Purchase: The William H. Nunn Trust Fund, established in memory of his wife, Alice B. Nunn

Accession Number

2012.82.1a,b

Copyright

public domain

Terms

candleholders

figures

silver

slaves

Location

Belluschi Building

Hirsch Wing

2nd Floor

Anne K. Millis Galleries

Millis Galleries (East)

Description

Made by one of London’s finest silversmiths, these candlesticks epitomize the culture of slavery in eighteenth-century Europe and America. The presentation of human degradation in exquisitely worked silver serves as a chilling reminder of the blind greed of those who profited from the institution of slavery. The candlesticks bear the crest of the Thruston family, which had prospered in Virginia since the 1680s, in part through the subjugation of Africans. Such objects once graced the tables of many slave holders, but after abolition in England in 1833, and in the United States in 1865, they became distasteful and many were melted down. The Museum acquired these rare works in the belief that the role of art in this horrific episode in human history should not be forgotten.

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