Pair of Toy Candlesticks Maker: Unknown

ca. 1680–90

American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

A fashion for elaborate dollhouses originated in late seventeenth-century Holland and spread to England and the American colonies. These were not amusements for children but for wealthy women who outfitted them with sumptuous furnishings executed in miniature. Some colonial goldsmiths specialized in "toys and jewels," which they imported from London or made locally. These candlesticks are from an assembled set of silver toys owned by Bethiah Shrimpton (1681–1713) of Boston.




each: 2 1/2 × 1 3/4 in. (6.4 × 4.4 cm)
base: 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



17th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Originally owned by Bethiah Shrimpton (1681-1713), Boston, MA; her niece, Elizabeth (Hunt) Wendell (1717-1779); her daughter, Elizabeth (Wendell) Smith (1742-1779); her daughter, Elizabeth (Smith) Stevens (1795-1860); her daughter, Mary Eliza (Stevens) Pride; Mrs. Charles W. Lord; he granddaughter, Mrs. A. Ralph Stephan; Francis P. Garvan, New York, to 1935; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Barbara M. Ward and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., Silver in American Life: Selections from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1979), 108, no. 98, ill
  • Kathryn C. Buhler and Graham Hood, American Silver in the Yale University Art Gallery, 2 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1970), vol. 1, pp. 314–17, no. 544
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