German (Hanover)
Designed by William Kent (English, 1685–1748), Marked by Balthasar Friedrich Behrens (German, 1701–1760)

Object Place: Europe, Hanover, Germany


Overall: 118.1 x 106.7 cm (46 1/2 x 42 in.) Weight: 130 lb. (58.97 kg)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View





Composed of eight cast branches supported by sphinxes. Surmounted by globe with horse of Hannover, flanked by putti, the whole surmounted by a sovereign’s crown.


Marked BEHRENS on the column


1736 or 1737, George Augustus, King George II of England (b. 1683- d. 1760; r. 1727-1760), for the Leineschloss, Hannover (original commission) [see note 1]; by inheritance within the family to Ernest Augustus II (b. 1878 - d. 1923), Duke of Brunswick and Lüneberg and Crown Prince of Hanover [see note 2]; 1924, sold by the Dukes of Brunswick and Lüneberg to Elkan Silberman (dealer), Vienna [see note 3]. Private collection, USA [see note 4]. 1985, Kraemer & Cie., Paris; 1985, sold by Kraemer & Cie. to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 18, 1985)

[1] This is one in a set of five chandeliers commissioned by George II for the Rittersaal (presence chamber), Leineschloss. Two of the chandeliers were delivered in 1736 and three were delivered in 1737; it is not known when the MFA chandelier was delivered. See Ellenor M. Alcorn, " 'A Chandelier for the King', William Kent, George II, and Hanover," Burlington Magazine 139, no. 1126 (January 1997), pp. 40-43.

[2] Upon the succession of Victoria as Queen of Great Britain in 1837, the thrones of Hanover and Great Britain split and the silver collection passed to the Duke of Cumberland, who became the King of Hanover. On June 27, 1866, Hanover was annexed by Prussia, and the family assumed the title Dukes of Brunswick and Lüneberg, and moved to Cumberland Castle in Gmuden, Austria.

[3] After the death of Ernest Augustus in 1923, much of the family's silver collection was sold; the chandeliers were sold to the dealer Elkan Silberman on September 25, 1924. See George II's Magnificent Silver Chandelier (auction cat., Christie's, Monaco, December 4, 1993).

[4] According to notes in the curatorial file. Correspondence from the dealer Kraemer (July 15, 1986) indicates that to the best of his knowledge the chandelier had not been in Germany for the last forty years.

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund, Anonymous gift in memory of Zoë Wilbour, Gift of Henry H. Fay, and Gift of W. K. Flint, by exchange