A hexagonal pair of cast sterling silver taper candlesticks in the Queen Anne style. This heavy-quality pair of tapersticks are cast in the traditional manner and do not require filling to give extra weight.
Occasionally referred to as taper candlesticks, silver tapersticks are miniature candlesticks designed specifically for holding thinner, tapered candles and would have been a familiar household accessory during the 1700s. Primarily they were used as a means of melting wax to seal letters. When melted, the wax would be impressed with an intaglio carved with initials or a crest. Unsurprisingly, silver tapersticks were multifunctional also serving as chambersticks, a means to ignite other candles and light smoking pipes.
In a wide variety of designs, early examples had square, circular, hexagonal or octagonal bases and simple waisted sockets, but as mid-18th century fashions changed fluting, gadrooning and chased rococo decoration featured heavily.
Like most silverware, the value of silver tapersticks is determined by the level of craftsmanship and skill required to produce them. Figural tapersticks are desirable if they are of particular novelty value or are unusual in their subject matter, and pairs of tapersticks will retain much higher values.