A Pair of George II Battersea Enamel Candlesticks

Mid-18th Century

Height: 11 in. (28 cm)
Width: 5 ¼ in. (13 cm)

Of turned baluster form and a white ground, the nozzles with a lobed rim and decorated with a reserve of a shepherd and two sheep within a gilt cartouche and floral sprays, the stems decorated with floral sprays and gilt enamel foliage, the spreading shaped bases decorated with gilt foliage and three reserves within gilt cartouches depicting pastoral scenes of a reclining lady and gentleman, an elegant couple with sheep and a trio fishing.


The production of English painted enamels originated in c.1750 in Battersea, on the South Bank of the Thames in London, at that date still a semi-rural area. The factory traded under the name of Janssen, Delamain and Brooks, and was located at York House, a property owned by Sir Stephen Theodore Janssen (d.1777), a former Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London, who provided the financial capital in partnership with the potter Henry Delamain and the printer John Brooks.

The enamels were intended to provide a less costly version of the gold and porcelain snuffboxes and objets de vertu imported from Paris, Geneva, and Meissen, and their decoration reflected the mid-18th century Rococo style, often using transfer printing to reproduce complex images in multiple versions. The Battersea factory closed in 1756, but its expertise and materials were transferred to new ventures emerging in Birmingham and the town of Bilston in Staffordshire, which produced enamels in a comparable style for the remainder of the 18th century.

The form of these candlesticks is a standard one, based on earlier models in silver, brass and pewter. Similar examples are in numerous public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.