Description & Technical information

This set of three candlesticks presents a very fine example of Brunswick Rococo. The foot features a vaulted, rich curly form, which is decorated in different levels. While the foot in bell-shape features a rich hammered decoration in the form of twisted lines, the baluster like shaft is strict horizontal structured, although it presents a twisted decor. This decoration of twisted lines reaches up to the spout of the candlestick. In this way, an impression of a sure and elegantly carried out creation and decoration is achieved. The contrast between the decoration, which gives a sense of movement, and the austerity of the shaft provide the candlesticks a singular character.

Around 1700 Brunswick was to be transformed from an old town to a princely and noble city, in which a supra regional economic life would develop. The court moved finally from Wolfenbüttel to Brunswick in 1753/4.
Wealthy buyers – often court officials – were increasingly interested in owning fashionable products of silver. Besides the clientele was growing bigger due to visitors of the fair. The increasing number of working goldsmiths in Brunswick as well as the peak of the goldsmith’s art at the beginning of the second half of 18th century suppose an increased demand for silver products. This lively market development at this time explains also the high quality of silverworks from Brunswick.

The production of luxury products was oriented to European, especially French, style developments. However, the objects should also present an authentic, artistic note from Brunswick.

Maker: Müller (Möller), Johann Rudolf (1755-1789). Born in 1724 as son of the “princely riding” forester of the convent Michaelstein, by Blankenburg (Spies Nr. 585a). His brother Friederich Ludwig Müller was also a gold- and silversmith. Johann Rudolf Müller was named goldsmith in 1755; he presented his masterpiece – a silver cup with a wrought foot and lid – on the 23th October 1755. He became a new citizen of Brunswick on the 30th May 1755. In 1761 he engaged three assistants. In general, he had engaged from 1760 to 1772 four apprentices. He married to Jonanna Sophia Emerentia Kraul and hat in 1757 a child, Johann Heinrich Christoph. He died on the 26th October 1789 and was buried in the Andreas’ graveyard.
Johann Rudolf Müller holds an outstanding position in the history of the goldsmith’s art in Brunswick of the 18th century. Many religious and profane objects from his hands provide a proof for that.

Date:  1754/67
Period:  1750-1850, 18th century
Origin:  Germany
Medium: silver
Signature: Marks: Hallmark: Brunswick, an erected lion, directed heraldically to the right (Spies Nr. 41).
„Ältermannszeichen“: „K“; at the end of 17th century it was used to mark next to the city hallmark and the maker’s mark a control of the object through the so-called “Ältermänner”. This was realised through a punched letter. In order to ascertain who had undertaken the control, every examining “Ältermann” had his corresponding letter, which changed in alphabetical order after a change in the “Ältermänner” control. In this case, the letter „K“ was used in different time-periods between 1735-1768 (Spies 1996: III/273, table).

Maker:  Mark, or rather monogram “IR/M” in a shield for Johann Rudolf Müller (Spies Nr. 585a).


Dimensions: 20 cm (7⁷/₈ inches)
Literature: Stadt Braunschweig – Städtisches Museum Braunschweig (Hrsg.), 2005, Braunschweiger Rokoko, Wolfratshausen: Edition Minerva
Scheffler, W., 1992, Braunschweiger Goldschmiede-Familien aus zwei Jahrhunderten (1650-1850). Genealogische Ergänzungen zum Abschnitt ‚Braunschweig’ des zweibändigen Werkes „Goldschmiede Niedersachsens“, Berlin, 1965, Selbstverlag des Braunschweigischen Geschichtsvereins
Spies, G., 1996, Braunschweiger Goldschmiede: Geschichte – Werke – Meister und Marken, Bd. I-III, München-Berlin: Klinkhardt & Biermann

Categories: Silver