Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pair of Candlesticks, late 19th century

This pair of candlesticks was made from brass in the late 19th century. The design of the two candlesticks is that of a tulip shape at the top to hold a candle, the stem has two brass pieces twisting down as if in a braid and ends with a smoothly tiered bell shape. They can be found in the Nichols House Family Collection because they are part of the estate of Rose Standish Nichols. These candles would have been placed somewhere in the Nichols family home and used by Rose Nichols. The appearance of the candlesticks is that they are heavier at the bottom though are slightly balanced by the top being thicker than the stem is. Their country of origin is England. There was not an abundance of information on the internet about these particular candlesticks, but because they are a pair, and a little more ornate, I would imagine that these were used on the dining room table in the Nichols home, or perhaps for entertaining purposes. The light bulb was invented in the late 19th century so it is plausible to think that these candlesticks were soon replaced with incandescent bulb lamps. These candlesticks are very different from lighting used later on, such as the lava lamp. While the Nichol's candlesticks were very practical and used sparingly out of necessity to see with at night, the lava lamp was almost more for fun than for function. The two methods of lighting are similar in that they both involve hot wax and have the possibility to burn the user. Neither provides the best of light.

Sources include: the Nichols house museum website and wikipedia.

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