A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER AND OBJECTS OF VERTU

silver chamber stick (palmatoria) - Italy


Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria the chamber stick with extended handle is an ancient ecclesiastical item named in Italy 'palmatoria' or 'bugia'.
The 'palmatoria' chamberstick is a dish with a sconce (bobeche) on the middle and an elaborate extended handle. It derives its name from the 'palmo della mano' (hand's palm), commonly used to support this object in religious ceremonies where it lighted up the missal to the Service Officiant. Similar 'palmatoria' are present on the 'treasure' of many Italian Cathedrals.
This 'palmatoria' stands on three elaborate 'rococo' feet with a 'bobeche' decorated with floral engravings of 18th century taste.
It is a mix of silversmithing techniques, ranging from: casting (on the feet and the bobeche), embossing (the dish), engraving (on the bobeche) and chiseling (on the handle).
It has silversmith's hallmark (an horse over letters IL into a lozenge) but no town mark. I evaluate it was made by a North Italy's silversmith on late 18th century/beginning of 19th century (ecclesiastical silver had exemption from payment of duty and often had no town mark).
Another hypothesis is that this item may be a recent reproduction on antique style made in Italy by an unknown silversmith (possibly of Milan). I saw two quite similar "palmatoria" bearing modern marks (about 1950/1960) of the well known silversmith Messulam Enrico, Milano (32MI inside a lozenge and "800").
The chamber stick is 11 in. wide (cm. 28) and was bought from an Italian dealer at an Antique Fair.

This item is not for sale, but most of my pieces were bought through the Internet. On the right bar of this page there are some links to silver and antique dealers websites
Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria
Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria
Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria: foot casting
Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria
Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria: bobeche Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria: bobeche
Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria hallmark Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria hallmark Italian antique silver chamber stick palmatoria hallmark

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