Boer War Discovery Page 92p

Rare Boer War Discoveries

Below are some of the items the Canadian Boer War Museum has added to its collections in its ongoing efforts to preserve important Canadian heritage memorabilia from this period.

Ultra Rare Great Boer War Discoveries ( Aug. 2005)

Boer War Bronze Art Nouveau Candlesticks - 1900
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Commemorative Candlesticks, Boer War 1900
Orig. bronze - Size - 9" wt - ea 1.1kg
Found - Miami, FL
Fabulous: Probably the finest melding, ever seen, of the art of war with the glory of art nouveau, are these fabulous bronze candlesticks from 1900.

Unlike so much metal memorabilia from the Boer War, which is made of spelter - cheap white metal - these are heavy, solid bronze pieces crafted by a master artisan. This is only the second pair we have ever seen and they are the finest. The patina - the age burn of a century - is magnificent; no one has tried to "polish these up" since the day they were cast.

The figures are superbly positioned beside what could be a scrawny African tree, but what is really the motif for art nouveau - the flowery, swirling growth of plants so identified with this fabulous period in art and architecture, that was just coming to a peak at the turn of the century, when the Boer War was at its height. The trees end in a "poppy-like" cup into which the candles were placed. The proportions are pleasingly executed.

On the left is a soldier, on guard, holding a Lee-Metford rifle at the ready, wearing the pith helmet of the period and carrying a bandoleer of .303 cartridges.

On the right is possibly an officer, similarly attired, but holding binoculars, perhaps to spy out the enemy positions.

The photography does not do justice to the finely etched buttons, clothes, and rifle and glasses, nor the details on the faces and mustaches of the two figures.

These were expensive and could only have been found in the very finest homes at the time.

The base shows that the design was registered as Rd 356957. By checking a book which lists the registry numbers we know that this design was patented sometime early in 1900.

The manufacturer is WT&S, as is stamped on the bottom.

W. Tonks & Sons were brass and metalwork manufacturers in Birmingham, England, since before the 1800s. Tonks used the eight pointed "sun" trademark from 1869 on.

Sadly there is no signature of the artist who would have been of the calibre of Caton Woodville.

Patina to die for!

These candlesticks have not had a polishing rag on them for over 100 years, so they show the glorious age burn that metal - and wood - gets when the polishers, sanders, and refinishers stay out of the way.

Glorious patina to die for. You will never see finer!


c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000