Jessie M. Preston Candlesticks, ca. 1905
These came from one of my very good friends who's an old retired antique dealer. He now just sort of picks. They came out of Jackson, Mississippi. They were just sitting in his office for weeks and weeks and I kept coming back and looking at them and finally he said, "Take those things with you," so I did.
And did he say where he got them from?
No, he didn't. I don't remember; it's been eight or ten years.
What did you pay for it?
Maybe $100 each, not very much.
Well, they're a wonderful pair of brass candlesticks and they're by an artist named Jessie Preston. She was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was born in the 1870s. She was primarily a jewelry maker and she made hand-wrought jewelry: hammered jewelry set with stones. Most of her work is foliate design. These are much more geometric based, and these she would have had cast at a foundry.
They're signed right here, Jessie M. Preston, and we have the mark of the foundry, and that's the Anderson foundry. And you see they were made in two pieces. You see this screw piece? And you see on the bottom, this very fine pebbly surface? This is done by what we call sand casting. Most of the bronzes and brass things we see were cast in the lost-wax process. They're from the Arts and Crafts period, they're probably from around 1905, 1910. They don't look like your usual Arts and Crafts pieces. We usually see hammered copper or hammered wrought iron. But these are wonderful, the way they're stylized. They're very chic, elegant, they look very modern and contemporary. This is wonderful, simplified, organic. It almost looks like a growing plant. Currently in a retail setting, these would probably bring between $6,000 and $8,000.
Oh, goodness. Well, thank you very much.
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