A Victorian Age Memento

Candlesticks mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Thank you for sending me the image of your pair of brass candlesticks. They are known as the Ace of Diamonds candlesticks from the Diamond Jubilee series made in England in the late 1800s. The Ace of Diamonds is the largest pair in a graduated set of five: Ace, King, Queen, Prince, Princess. These candlesticks began their popularity in the late 19th century to celebrate the English monarchy and, more specifically, Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

The Diamond Jubilee is a celebration for a 60th anniversary. In 1896, as Queen Victoria celebrated 60 years as a monarch, surpassing George III as the longest reigning monarch in England, it was a momentous event. This set of candlesticks continued to be produced until long after Queen Victoria's death in 1939 at the start of World War II.

The original candlesticks were made in Birmingham, England. They are identifiable by having a square base with pinched corners and a baluster turned shaft with a diamond faceted knop (a fancy word for knob), all below a raised element with bobeche to accept a candle. The set was made over the years in a graduated series of five different sizes, going from the smallest, Princess, to Ace, the largest.

Some of the candlesticks in this series have been widely reproduced, in particular the King and Queen. However, the Princess, Prince and Ace have not enjoyed such fame. When a complete set is displayed in its entirety, the set is quite beautiful in its graduated form.

Because of the reproductions, the value of the period sets has declined. There was a time that a complete set would bring more than $6,500. Now a full set will bring around $4,000. When verifying authenticity, it is important to be certain that the candlesticks are marked appropriately "King of Diamonds," etc. on the base and that each stick retains a push-up mechanism on the underneath for the candle. The reproductions are neither marked nor do they typically have the push-up mechanism.

The more common pairs (Kings and Queens) are worth $300-$400, while the Prince and Princess are worth more. The most desirable style, the Ace, is worth the most. As your set of candlesticks is the rarest of the set, I would value your pair of Aces at $1,800.

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