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C1790 George III PAIR Old Sheffield Plate Candelabra

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This pair of excellent condition Old Sheffield Plate candelabra can be used as a pair of candlesticks, a pair of 3 light candelabra, or a grand 5 light candelabrum (singular). This metamorphic quality makes the pair remarkably useful. The technique of making Old Sheffield Plate is extremely difficult. it involves fusing a layer of sterling silver (an alloy) to one or both sides (after 1770) of a panel of copper. Then the fused metal sandwich is passed many times through rollers to produce a large sheet of silvered copper. Then the object has to be manufactured from the sheet. Fancy edges were usually made in thin sterling silver and applied to the Old Sheffield Plate. The hollow parts under these applied moldings were filled with lead solder. Hence as the raised silver decoration wears away, grey patches become visible. Fortunately, easy modern silver cleaning methods are not abrasive. These candelabra appear to have their original sterling silver coating in great condition. Some Old Sheffield Plate has been electroplated with pure silver, which can lead to problems. Old Sheffield Plate was a technique used only in  Britain, France, Russia and some of the many German countries. It began in 1743 and continued for almost exactly 100 years till it was superseded by the electroplating using electrolysis we use today.

Candlesticks 26 cm tall. Candelabra 48 cm tall.

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