A pair of Gothic damascened candlesticks Teodoro Ybarzabal, Eibar
The Basque town of Eibar in Northern Spain has been famous since the 16th century for its metal works and in particular its small fire arms production. In the latter part of the 19th century on the back of its steel industry it became the centre of a revival of the ancient ornament known as Damascus ware or Damascening. Placido Zuluago was the creative spark and Ybarzabal was one of his disciples. They decorated weapons but they also created a number of entirely ornamental pieces. Interestingly Alfred Morrison, the great collector and style influencer here in England was one of his greatest patrons and Eibar Damascus work became almost better known in England than in its native Spain. Today the greatest collection is in the Khalili collection where they have over 100 pieces but there are works too in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
These diminutive but heroically drawn candlesticks add to our knowledge of this fascinating historicist workshop and its output.