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Wall Sconce

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On large silver shield, a cast and applied female bust is enclosed in a laurel wreath. The backbround is composed of embossed floral and leaf motifs. Three candle-holders with drip pans are affixed to the shield with acanthus leaf decoration.


The crowned monogram of George Lewis, Elector of Hanover and King of England (George I) is engraved on the central oval shield, directly below the applied female busts.


Before 1714, acquired by George Louis (b. 1660 - d. 1727), Elector of Hanover, later King George I of England (r. 1714-1727), either for Leineschloss or Herrenhausen, Hanover, Germany [see note 1]; by inheritance within the family to Ernest Augustus II (b. 1878 - d. 1923), Duke of Brunswick and Lüneberg and Crown Prince of Hanover [see note 2]; 1923, probably sold by the Dukes of Brunswick and Lüneberg to Glückselig, Vienna [see note 3]. 1946, French and Company, Inc., New York; 1946, sold by French and Company to the MFA for $2850 [see note 4]. (Accession Date: December 12, 1946) NOTES: [1] It is not known whether George I inherited the pair of wall sconces (MFA accession numbers 46.1254 - 46.1255) from his mother, Sophia, Electress of Hanover (b. 1630- d. 1714), or whether he purchased them. [2] Upon the succession of Victoria as Queen of Great Britain in 1837, the thrones of Hanover and Great Britain split and the sconces passed to the Duke of Cumberland, who became the King of Hanover. On June 27, 1866, Hanover was annexed by Prussia, and the family assumed the title Dukes of Brunswick and Lüneberg, and moved to Cumberland Castle in Gmuden, Austria. The sconces are probably the "late seventeenth century sconces made at Hamburg" recorded in the collection of Ernest Augustus II, Crown Prince of Hanover, in 1911. For further information see Tracey Albainy, "Hanoverian Royal Plate in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston," The Silver Society Journal, 14 (2002), pp. 14-17. [3] After the death of Ernest Augustus in 1923, much of the family's silver collection was sold to the dealer Glückselig in Vienna, and was offered by the London dealer Crichton Brothers in 1924. [4] MFA accession numbers 46.1254 - 46.1255 were acquired together.

Credit Line

Gift of Charles B. Barnes and W. D. Gooch

German (Hamburg), about 1670


H x W: 71.1 x 60.7 cm (28 x 23 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silver; embossed and cast