Pair of Duff Family Candlesticks

Pair of Duff Family Candlesticks , c. 1750

Coline Allan

Silversmith:Coline Allan
Aberdeen, Scotland, died 1774


This pair of unusual and extensively chased baluster stem candlesticks is attributed to Coline Allan, one of Aberdeen's most talented silversmith. However, it is very possible that he imported these candlesticks and subsequently retailed them after adding the decoration and crest.

They are marked CA (for Coline Allan) and the three cross Aberdeen mark twice along with an unclear mark, which is possibly an anchor.

Allan has used chasing (a technique using punches to create decoration) to form bands of flowers, scrolls and trelliswork which result in a heavily ornamented and striking pair of candlesticks.

The engraved crest of upright hand clasping a shell is for the Duff family. The motto ‘VIRTUTE ET OPERA’ may be translated as ‘by virtue and by work’

The pair are an early example of silverware that demonstrates the desire for objects to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Purchased in 1984 with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions and The Black Bequest.

Height: 17.5 cm Base: Diameter: 11.2 cm Weight (1): 475.3gm Weight (2): 466.95gm
Acc. No. ABDAG001354


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