Fine pair cast armorial George I Britannia silver candle sticks London 1717 Thomas Mason
This fine pair of hexagonal and armorial George I Britannia silver candlesticks were made in London in 1717 by Thomas Mason and measures 8.25 inches tall, they have a coat of arms to the stepped bases and are fully and clearly hallmarked under the bases and also to the candle holder with the lions head erased. They are in excellent condition and the quality is superb weighing in at 32.65 ounces or 1015 grams, a lovely early pair of quality sticks.
The Marital Arms of Hatcliffe and Topham
The armorial bearings as engraved upon this Pair of George I Cast Britannia Silver Candlesticks by Thomas Mason hallmarked London 1717 are those of the family of Hatcliffe impaling Topham. These armorial bearings denote the marshalling of a marital coat showing on the dexter (the heraldic right on the left as you view the piece) the arms of the husband and on the sinister (the heraldic left on the right as you view it) the arms of the wife. They may be blazoned as follows:
(on the dexter) Azure three quatrefoils slipped argent (for Hatcliffe)
(on the sinister) Gules (?) a chevron ermine between three pewits close (��?……) (for Topham) Motto: Invidia videra
Upon the balance of probability and without any evidence to the contrary these armorial bearings commemorate the marriage of William Hatcliffe (born 1698 died 1774) and Mary Topham (born 1698 died 1752). William and Mary were married the Parish Church of St Mary, Tetford in the County of Lincolnshire on the 2nd May 1717. From an evidential point of view this date meshes in well with the manufacture of these candlesticks in that they were either acquired by the couple themselves or
they were a gift presented to the couple shortly after their marriage and they thereafter caused their arms to be engraved thereon. The Hatcliffes were a well-established gentry family in the County of Lincolnshire. William’s parents were John Hatcliffe and Ann Chatterton. Presently it is not known with any certainty the names of Mary’s parents. It is interesting to note that Mary’s family arms of Topham as shown and blazoned above are at a variance with other armigerous Lincolnshire Topham families who bore as their arms ‘Argent a chevron gules between pewits’ heads erased sable’, notably by the Tophams, of Agglethorpe. There are also several Topham gentry families who bear these arms who were established in the County of Yorkshire. It may be that certain members of these families emigrated over the River Humber and settled in Lincolnshire at some stage. Presently I not been able to find an authority for Mary’s Topham family arms. It may well be (and this is not at all unusual) that they assumed their arms without authority adapting the known Topham arms sometime in their history changing the three pewits’ heads for three entire pewits. Of course, the original grant may have been lost or if the family were bearing such arms during the period of the Heralds’ Visitations to the County of Lincolnshire that took place during the 16th and 17th Centuries the family slipped under the herald’s net for some reason or that they consciously did not endeavour to seek official recognition of their arms.