Nicholas Grindley LLC

Pair of Pricket Candlesticks


Pair of Baitong Pricket Candlesticks, dated 1850


Ronald Renton (1929–1980) Collection, Folly Mill, Thaxted, North Essex, England,
Thence by descent until 2021

Detail Description

Pair of Pricket Candlesticks

China. Qing dynasty, Daoguang period, dated 1850

Baitong (white brass)

H29.8 x W14.9 cm (11 3/4 x 5 7/8 in.)

Each inscribed 道光三十年庚戍五月置洪溪清水祖师公 (purchased in the 5th month of the gengshu year, the 30th year of the reign of Emperor Daoguang [1850], Hongxi [presumably Hongxi Town, Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province], ancestor Qingshui [a Chan Buddhist monk from Quanzhou, Anxi County, in the Northern Song dynasty])

The Chinese candlesticks are based on Spanish Colonial models of the 17th century. They have rectangular bases with canted corners, turned knop columns fitted with a circular drip pans and cylindrical nozzles with spikes.

The foot of each candlestick is incised with the same inscription: 道光三十年庚戍五月置洪溪清水祖师公,read as above. ‘Ancestor Qingshi’ refers to a Chan [Zen] Buddhist monk of that name in Quanzhou, Anxi County, during the Northern Song dynasty. Through his skill in learning and preaching the Dharma and meditation, he is said to have acquired supernatural powers, allowing him to bring rain after a period of drought as he went from place to place in the Anxi district. Villagers built shrines to Qingshi and worshipped him as a folk deity.


read more
Pair of Pricket Candlesticks