Pair of Paktong Candlesticks

A magnificent pair of neo-classical paktong candlesticks in the shape of Corinthian columns on square-stepped bases.

Their most striking feature is that they are amazingly unworn for their age – the casting detail is as fresh as the day they were cast. This is due to the extraordinary qualities of paktong.

Paktong is a remarkable decorative metal, which arrived in Britain from China in the middle of the 18th century. The name literally means ‘white copper’ and it displays a combination of physical and chemical properties previously unknown in Europe. It is an alloy of copper, zinc and nickel, but it is unclear whether its secret formula was known outside China at the time.

It is virtually untarnishable, a property hitherto only found in gold alloys. It is also very strong and heat-resistant, hence is use in fireplace manufacture and items involving heat (such as candlesticks).

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