Pair of George III Cut-Glass and Gilt-Metal Seven-Light Wall Lights of Important and Impressive Size
In the manner of Parker and Perry, late 18th century/early 19th century
Each suspended from an oval hook in the form of a sunflower on a trefoil shackle, with pear drop-hung swagged canopy above an urn-form stem and a receiver bowl with scrolling plain fluted arms with Vandyck-bordered drip pans and nozzles, similarly hung with swags and drops, and ending in a acorn-form finial; the receiver bowls with numbers, the arms and nozzles with either numbers or letters. Height 56 inches (1.42 m), width 28 1/2 inches (72.3 cm), depth 13 inches (33 cm).
Jeremy, Ltd., London
The present wall lights are of an unusually large size and are a rare survival.
William Parker was a glass manufacturer with premises at 69 Fleet Street, 'two doors below Water End Lane', from 1763, supplying three chandeliers for the Tea Room of the Assembly Room at Bath in 1771. One of the receiver bowls of these three chandeliers is inscribed Parker Fleet Street London, enabling firm attributions of similar pieces to him. From 1772-84 the firm was known as William Parker and Company and from 1785-97 as William Parker and Son. In 1798, his son Samuel took over the business and traded as Parker and Perry, glass manufacturers, from 1803-18.
Probably one of the most notable design features of Parker's oeuvre was the introduction of vase-shaped stem pieces, revolutionary in chandelier design, where spherical stem pieces were heretofore almost universally found. In 1782, Parker supplied a pair of chandeliers to the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth with his innovative vase-shaped stem now spirally cut. Additionally, Parker added ormolu bands to the vase and receiver bowl, described in the records of a chandelier supplied to William Beckford in 1791 as 'ormolu furniture'. These bands were cast and chased with a guilloche, as on the receivers of the present pair, or possibly a Vitruvian scroll.
Other characteristics include the cutting of the plain fluted candlearms, the designs of the Vandyck-bordered drip-pans, nozzles and canopies, the pear-shaped drop and 'the hollow-blown finial of almost acorn shape'; see Martin Mortimer, The English Glass Chandelier, 2000, p. 87, pl. 35, for one of the Tea Room chandeliers at the Assembly Room with a finial that is very similar to those of the present pair. Parker also introduced a technical modification to the candle arm, as seen in the chandeliers at Chatsworth: detachable candle nozzles with brass mounts which were able to be changed if damaged. Each brass mount of the nozzles and arms of present wall lights is either numbered or lettered, corresponding with the receiver bowl housing. Additionally, each is fitted with an interior metal guard or saveall, providing protection from a candle burning down to its base and splitting the glass.
For a full discussion of the work of William Parker and Parker and Perry, see Mortimer, ibid., pp. 82-89, pp. 94-110. See also, Leeds City Art Galleries, Country House Lighting, 1992, 43-46, for a further discussion of Parker's work.
Cf. a George III eight-light cut-glass chandelier almost certainly by Parker with very similar features, Ronald Phillips, Handbook, 2012, pp. 64-65, no. 20
C The Noel and Harriette Levine Collection
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