A Hardman Powell & Co, gothic revival silver candle holder (bugia)

Price range: £1,250

A rare gothic revival silver candleholder (bugia) by the leading gothic revival metal working firm of Hardman Powell & Co (formerly John Hardman & Co). The bugia is assayed for Birmingham 1902 and is after a design by John Hardman Powell, himself inspired no doubt by Augustus Pugin.  A Hardman Powell catalogue also shows a similar (possibly identical) bugia – see images.

The bugia is inscribed in latin:

“Quia tu luceena mea Due”

This essentially translates as “because God is my light “or “for thou art my lamp/light O’ Lord”.  The bugia also carries the arms of the Edmund Granville Ward.

Ward was the eldest son of the eminent, and controversial, Catholic theologian and philosopher William George Ward (1812-1882).  Given its crest the bugia was almost certainly made for the family chapel at Weston Manor on the Isle of Wight.  In 1849 William George Ward inherited Northwood House in Cowes and 5,000 acres of the Isle of Wight and in 1869-70 he also built Weston Manor at the more remote Western tip of the Isle of Wight in Totland Bay. The architect was George Goldie. With the Manor, Ward also commissioned a Catholic chapel. After Ward’s death in 1882, his son Edmund had the interior (re) furnished and decorated from c 1898-1900 by Pugin’s son and successor firm Pugin and Pugin.  As part of this redesign it is recorded that Pugin and Pugin provided Hardman made metalwork. Most likely this bugia is such a piece. Hence its assay date of 1902.  Weston Manor is now a hotel and wedding venue.

Historic England have written of the chapel: “Weston Manor’s principal feature is the chapel of circa 1870, refurbished circa 1898 with fittings by Peter Paul Pugin and Edward Goldie, containing a complete decorative scheme with stencils, painting, stained glass and Minton floor tiles following the principles of A W N Pugin. This is of more than special interest for its quality, completeness and rarity of survival.”

John Hardman Powell was the only student of Augustus Pugin, who later married Pugin’s daughter. Augustus Pugin was the leading Victorian architect and designer who popularised the neo gothic style  and designed the Houses of Parliament. E W Pugin was Augustus’ elder son who  worked in his father’s style.

Condition is very good with just some heavy scratching to the holder’s interior sconce (no doubt from removing wax), and some slight wear to what is otherwise wonderful coloured gilding.  It is a very good gauge.

Maker: Hardman Powell  & Co

Designer:  After a design by John Hardman Powell

Date : 1902

Marks: HP & Co, Birmingham, date letter “c”

Material: Sterling silver

Condition: Very good, missing its ferrule (candle holder)

Size: 2.5 cm high, 20.5 cm long

Weight : 171 grams, 6.0 oz

SKU: A1540-1 Category:

Additional information


Arts and crafts, Gothic revival