Small beacons of light, vintage brass candlesticks

candlesticks

It’s always nice to add warmth to your house. Candles play an important role in our lives, pure functional giving light and warmth, enriching our home décor, by creating an illuminating aura or the typical ambiance of candlelight, succeeding in changing the mood of our entire home and its inhabitants.

Whether on your dining room table, sideboards or fireplace mantels, a stunning display of many styles of brass candlesticks will do the job to create a unique decorative focus. Brass candlesticks with a sparkling polished finish, add a luxurious detail, embellishing, even gracing, your house with classic, brilliant, enduring luxury. The non-frilly ones will never go out of style, they’re just timeless.

Our Indian one draws inspiration from authentic historic designs,

indian-candlestick

showing meticulous workmanship:

indian-one

 

details

We’re far away from softly lit evenings, where once the table cleared, dishes washed, families gathered around the candle light, either reading or sewing, knitting, spinning. Brass was the most popular material in those days and has been used to make tools and decorative items since biblical times.

Are you into antique candlesticks, as they are becoming a popular category of collectibles? The real ones are rare and highly valuable and could provide a good long-term investment. But how to know whether that antique candlestick dates from the Queen Anne (1702 – 1714) period, the Georgian era (1714 – 1837), the Victorian era (1837 – 1901) or the Edwardian era (1901 – 1920) with its swirling flowers and nature patterns in Art Nouveau style?

Make sure you don’t talk about “antique”, when your candlestick has been made after the Edwardian era, as “vintage” is the word then. The style and the period will put you on your way to define whether you object is a valuable one or just a nice candlestick, that is, if you really want to spend a huge amount of money. But then again, most of us are not vigilantly searching for extremely valuable candlesticks, as knowledgeable antique hunters would do, we just like the item and know already exactly where it would fit into our home.

How to judge your brass candlestick, is it vintage or has it got antique value? Weight will always be important. Before the 18th century, candlesticks were made of solid brass, thus heavy. Once 1800, new techniques allowed the stem to be hollowed out and suddenly the candlestick became a much lighter item. The round-shaped brass candleholders, apart from having a circular base adding stability, are often the indicator of antiques, the base underside was cleaned by hand and the base had to be arched to get that finery throughout.

Trumpet forms, having a large drip pan and a wide bell shaped base, were most common. Once 1730, when people found better fat to make candles, so they wouldn’t drip as badly as before, the candlestick form changed and gone were the drip pans of the seventeenth century.

Folklore or fact, I imagine you might see the past in a different light if you knew the story of the courting candle. Can you imagine your boyfriend coming over, at his arrival, your father lighting a candle and your boyfriend having to leave once the candle burnt to the metal at the top of the spiral candleholder? Knowing that your father always could change the height of the candle, once he realized he didn’t like your friend, or even worse, snuff out the candle. The welcomed boyfriend might get a second candle lit… Respect for parent’s judgement was spooned in at an early age, whether you were rich or poor, in those days. We, on the other hand, wouldn’t be so happy with those so-called “courting candles”.

Common people would use fat lamps, being more practical and far less costly than the expensive candles, being labor-intensive, time-consuming and only made by those with special skills.

Just read this English nursery rhyme out of a 1815 manuscript:

Jack be nimble,

Jack be quick,

Jack jump over

The candlestick

Candle-leaping originated from an old game of jumping over fires, later banned and replaced by candle leaping. Jumping candlesticks also refers to fortune telling, good luck awaits you when you can clear a candle without extinguishing the flame!

Ending this post without “Lumière” would be oh so wrong, you remember him, the kindhearted, slightly rebellious, fictional character in Disney’s “Beauty and the beast”, transformed into a candelabra (candlestick holder with multiple arms) by the enchantress’ curse:

So be my guest and check out the shop if you’re interested in my two vintage brass candlesticks

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