Wall Sconce

Wall Sconce

Peter Archambo I
British (free 1720; d. 1767)

Wall sconces like this were used in many large houses in Britain in the eighteenth century. This particularly fine example is one of two belonging to the Clark Art Institute that were made for the Earl of Warrington’s house, Dunham Massey, near Manchester in the North of England. The coronet at the top of the design indicates its owner’s aristocratic status. These elaborately decorated objects are a superb combination of function and elegant design. The polished silver back-plate would have reflected shimmering candlelight into the earl’s bedroom, while the small but finely executed relief in the center of each of the sconces suggests his knowledge of classical mythology. In this case the relief illustrates, appropriately, the story of Narcissus, the character from Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection.

Audio: Curator's Voice: [from Acoustiguide Tour] - #92

Video: Gallery Talk -- Reflections
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