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image XF337
Chandelier, XF337, English, possibly by William Parker (fl.1756-1803), late eighteenth century, cut-glass with brass chain. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London.

Chandelier, English, possibly by William Parker (fl.1756-1803), late eighteenth century

Cut-glass with brass chain

Height (to top of shackle loop): 115cm
Width: 64.5cm

Museum number: XF337

Curatorial note

In the neo-classical 'Adam' style with eight candle arms and eight spire arms (four of the original spires have been replaced by candle holders of a much later design than the originals on the lower row)

Both the drawing rooms were originally lit by chandeliers and this appears to be the one shown in the North Drawing Room in the watercolour by C. J. Richardson of 1834-35, which was restored by Sir John Summerson and re-hung in the room in 1947-48.1

David Wilkinson has recently suggested that the chandelier may have been made by William Parker, one of the leading English chandelier makers of the 18th century. The distinctive baluster stem shapes, the style of cutting, the candle arms and grease pans all bear striking similarities to the chandeliers supplied by Parker for the Assembly Rooms, Bath. However, if it is by Parker it would be one of the smallest by him that is known.

1 SM Archive, Curator’s Annual Report to the Trustees 1948-49. The Inspectress’s Report on Furniture May 1955 records that the chandelier had for some years hung in the Curator’s Room, had been slightly damaged in the War and was wired for electric light before being re-hung in 1948-49. Trustees Minutes record that in 1875 the chandelier was already in storage. In 1899 they note the discovery of the ‘South Drawing Room’ chandelier in storage but this seems likely to refer to this one rather than to the one which originally hung in the front drawing room.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk