768. Rare Pair English Cornish Serpentine Marble Candlesticks attrib. John Murphy 1850

Stunning Pair English Cornish Serpentine Marble Heavy Gauge Single Light Table or Desk Candlesticks of outstanding quality and condition. Mid Nineteenth Century.  

Each central circular support in banded colours of mottled light green and dark reddish browns, ending on impressive circular spreading bases. 

These candlesticks can be attributed to Irishman John Murphy who ran a Serpentine Repository in the Market Place, Penzance, Cornwall, England, during the middle of the 19th century.  

Condition: Superb condition, tiny few flea bites.s  

Height: (entire as image one an impressive) 13" (33cm). Diameter: (at base). 5.75" (14.5cm).  

Pair Eur.1475.00. 

Location: Dublin City, Ireland. 

Worldwide Store to door shipping.  

History of the Serpentine Marble Industry  

There are some improbable legends concerned with how the serpentine industry came about. One suggests that a shipwrecked sailor washed up at Lizard in Cornwall noticed its colours and patterns gleaming in a rub stone polished by cattle. It’s more likely that local people became aware of these qualities in stones polished by their daily use as stiles, cobbles, flagstones etc. and began to turn the stone for decorative purposes. The serpentine industry began to develop, and was championed by Prince Albert after he was shown some serpentine artefacts during a trip ashore from a cruise around the Cornish coast. He was impressed by the quality of the stone and the discovery of an English ’marble’ of which he was previously unaware. Serpentine pieces became very popular as a result of the royal interest, and small workshops became well established in the area surrounding Kynance. All of these family businesses have now closed. 

This Pair of Candlesticks are a stunning example of this Serpentine Marble.