The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record

    New Search

Candlesticks from the Signing of the Treaty of Paris
Political History, Division of Social History, National Museum of American History

Candlesticks from the Signing of the Treaty of Paris

Catalog #: 127345    Accession #: 38752
Credit: Political History, Division of Social History, National Museum of American History


Bolsouver (Inventor)

In 1742 a Sheffield man called Thomas Bolsouver (17041788) pioneered the making of Sheffield Plate. Bolsouver fused silver and copper ingots by rolling them together. A thin sheet of silver was placed above and below the copper to make a sandwich and the whole sandwich was heated and rolled. It was at first used in the making of buttons but was soon adopted for making, pots, cheap silver plates and many other items. Sheffield Plate was known and used throughout the world, but was ultimately superceded by the electroplating process discovered in 1840.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 5.5" H x 2.75" W x 2.75" D

Physical Description

Silver plated candlesticks, likley to be Sheffield. Inscribed at the base: “Used at the sealing of the Treaty of Peace between the U.S. & G.B. 3rd Sept. 1783.”

Specific History

These candlesticks were used at the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 3 September 1783.

General History

While the surrender at Yorktown in the fall of 1781 marked the end of the Revolutionary War, small skirmishes between the colonists and the British continued into 1783. In February of 1783 George III issued his Proclamation of Cessation of Hostilities. The culmination of this proclamation was the Peace Treaty of 1783. Signed in Paris on 3 September 1783, the agreement, known as the Paris Peace Treaty, formally ended the United States War for Independence. Representing the United States were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, all of whom signed the treaty. In addition to giving formal recognition to the U.S., the nine articles that embodied the treaty: established U.S. boundaries, specified certain fishing rights, allowed creditors of each country to be paid by citizens of the other, restored the rights and property of Loyalists, opened up the Mississippi River to citizens of both nations and provided for evacuation of all British forces.


Country: France
War: War of American Independence
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits