Also known as Brighten Buns, these exquisite candlesticks were made by Thomas Heming, the “Principal goldsmith to the King” from 1760 to 1782.
Each candlestick is fully marked and engraved with the pre-1801 royal arms of George III. In addition, the bases, nozzles and capitals are all engraved with a baron’s coronet over EA and a swan crest.
The addition to the royal arms of individual’s crest and initials would probably indicate that these pieces were supplied as ambassadorial plate by the King before his emissary took up his position abroad. An ambassador was customarily supplied with a certain amount of silver, dependent on rank and the importance of his position to maintain the status of the Kingdom in foreign capitals. Although the silver “Allowance” was supposed to be returned to the King’s treasury on an ambassador’s return, it was often retained as a souvenir by the family.
“Brighton Buns” can usually be identified as nineteenth century and are generally crafted in woods, brass and other base metals. A set of traveling candlesticks from this early date, in silver and by the King’s goldsmith must be considered exceedingly rare.
London, England 1778