The crest is that of the Earls of Coventry, as borne by George William, 6th Earl of Coventry
An early enthusiasm for the neo-classical taste and a penchant for the latest in French fashion were the hallmarks of the 6th Earl of Coventry's collecting style. Lord Coventry is best remembered as the patron of Robert Adam, whom he commissioned to redecorate Croome Court in Worcestershire. He was also the first purchaser of the Boucher-Neilson tapestries, incorporating these with the first English examples of neo-classical oval-backed chairs in the Tapestry Room at Croome Court (now in the Metropolitan Museum).
Lord Coventry's astute eye extended to silver purchases. This set of four candlesticks relates stylistically to a design by William Kent (see Elaine Barr, George Wickes, London, 1980, p.103). The Earls of Coventry were regular patrons of Wakelin's firm, and there are numerous entries in the Gentlemen's Ledgers for their purchases of old and new plate between 1751 and 1792.
The entry for these candlesticks of May 8, 1758 notes:
To 2 pr fine Wroat Candlesticks and Nozils 188ozs. 10dwts.
To Graving 4 Crests and Coats -4-
This important model was copied by Paul Storr in 1815. Forming part of the Sutton service, the candlesticks sold Christie's, London, March 31, 1976, lot 86.
George William, 6th Earl of Coventry (1722-1809), by Nathaniel Dance
Courtesy Christie's Images
Design for a candlestick by William Kent, engraved by Vardy
Wakelin ledger entry relating to the Earl of Coventry's purchase of these four candlesticks, May 8, 1758, Courtesy the Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum
AN IMPORTANT SET OF FOUR GEORGE II SILVER CANDLESTICKS
THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN GENTLEMAN
"The Glory of the Goldsmith: Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection", Christie's, London, 1989, no. 101
Each octagonal base cast and chased with foliage and above with shells and scrolls and husk pendants and swags, the fluted baluster stem chased with acanthus foliage and with vase-shaped socket and gadrooned borders, engraved with a crest and coronet, marked on interior rim of bases, each also engraved with number and scratchweight: 'No 1 46"15', 'No 2 48"1', 'No 3 47"0', 'No 4 46"19' 12½in. (37.7cm.) high; 187oz. (5816gr.) (4)
Christie's Review of the Season 1985
The Glory of the Goldsmith: Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, 1989, no. 101, p. 139
George William, 6th Earl of Coventry (1722-1809), thence by descent, sold by The Croome Estate, Christie's, London, July 11, 1985, lot 276