Pair of Dutch silver candlesticks
Valentijn Casper Beumke
1040 grams; 24 cm high
This pair of silver candlesticks by the Amsterdam silversmith Beumke is an early example of Neoclassicism in the Netherlands. The style is derived from classical antiquity.
After Pompeii had been discovered in 1763, many interested people rushed to the spot in order to inform themselves about the archaeological excavations, among them Sir William Hamilton, Ambassador of England in Naples-Sicily. The archaeological findings were a wonderful source of inspiration for craftsmen and designers in Europe, who started deriving ornaments from antiquity. A new style, Neoclassicism, was born, as a reaction to the rather frivolous Rococo style.
Whereas many silversmiths in The Hague were still executing their objects in Rococo style, with asymmetrical features, many Amsterdam silversmiths embraced this new style in the 1770s, which started in England. Beumke’s fellow guild members, Frederik Manicus in 1770, Dirk Evert Grave in 1771/72, Wilhelmus Angenendt in 1772, made candlesticks in neoclassical style. The first Hague silversmith who followed the new fashion was probably Johannes van der Kruyf , who made a pair of column stem candlesticks in 1776.
This pair of candlesticks has been referred to in the new book Delfts Zilver, for the Delft silversmith Dirk van de Goorberg made a similar pair in 1772, which is in the collection of museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft.
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Biesboer, Delfts Zilver, Delftse goud- en zilversmeden en hun merken, 1536-1807, Zwolle, 2020
Vreeken, Goud en Zilver met Amsterdamse keuren, Amsterdam Museum, Zwolle, 2003