Object Name: Gilt Silver Lamp Stand
Accessioned: March 2010
Notes: bought by my mother in a lot at an auction.
Comments: For many years my mother did quite a lot of flower arranging. To find interesting, and more unusual objects to incorporate into her arrangements, she used to go to local ‘lot’ auctions. In these kinds of auctions you buy an entire box, or a ‘mixed lot’. As far as I know this lady emerged from such auction. I have always loved this lady, who adorned my mother’s sideboard for many years. After expressing an interest in recent years in Art Nouveau it was decided that I would be the ‘silver lady’s’ next rightful owner. So earlier this year, surrounded by old books and some childhood soft toys, she made her way to my house in a borrowed suit case.
She appears to be from the late 19th or early 20th century and she is stamped with the letters WMF EP. WMF is a German company, which still trades today. EP stands for electroplated. In her previous life she had a very industrious polisher for an owner as most of her silver had been rubbed off. You can see this in her now silvery ‘highlights’ around the features in her face, the folds of her dress and her toes. When I examined her, I remembered that as a child I polished her just as exuberantly. I realised this based on the amount of whitish polish that was deposited all over her. Over the course of a number of days, using a little warm water and mild soap I cleaned her from top-to-toe. I used ear buds and toothpicks to clean it out from from the leafy detail on her plinth.
She appears to have been a lamp originally, but she arrived to us sans lamp fixture. So that she was not holding her arms aloft needlessly, my mother found a candle that fits perfectly. Maybe someday I could find her a suitable glass lamp to hold, as I think she might be beyond being reinstated as a lamp. I might get her re-plated someday, although as someone interested in the history of objects, I do love the story her sparse silver tells.