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Slave Candlesticks

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A pair of bronze and ormolu candlesticks modelled as kneeling slaves; stamped within the bases ‘Published by William Mole. May 18. 1828’.

7 3/8 inches high x 3 5/8 inch square at the base 

The design of these candlesticks has much in common with the Hackwood anti-slavery medallion produced by Wedgwood, and Mole was working at the same time and place as the great industrialist, Matthew Boulton. Both James Watt and Matthew Boulton were ultimately abolitionists, although they had initially developed extensive business dealings with the plantations and the slave owners. William Mole was descended from Hermann Mohll, a German émigré who came to England at the end of the 17th century and set up business in Birmingham as a swordsmith. William Mole is recorded as a ‘Brass Founder, Bronze Lustre & Lamp Manufacturer’ in Bartholomew Street, Birmingham’. Interestingly, he was also in a partnership as Mole & Day at this same address, until the partnership was dissolved in 1816. At the beginning of the 1830’s William was in a partnership with a relative, Thomas, as ‘Tho. & Wm. Mole; Furnishing Iron Mongers’ at ‘The Pagoda Iron Foundry’ with showrooms in Jamaica Row, Smithfield, Birmingham. However, this was short lived and ten years on we find the entire stock liquidated and William imprisoned as an Insolvent Debtor in Birmingham Gaol. Going full circle with the Mohll family, and by the middle of the 19th century, Robert Mole & Sons, another side of the same family, had become the biggest manufacturer of swords in Birmingham.



Item Code: 4758

£ 3950

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