Monday, October 13, 2008

Following the light...and striking a converstation

This classic candle stand can be found in the Nichols House Museum in Boston, Mass.  The owner, Rose Standish Nichols was a landscape gardener who didn't conform to the normal, domestic lifestyle of a woman who was supposed to marry and stay at home.  In the late 1800's to 1900's, this wasn't acceptable, which is why the house and her situation are famous today.  Throughout the house are many priceless possessions, consisting of both American and European furniture from the late 17th to 19th centuries, one of which is the candle stand.

This 17th century candle stand was simply a necessity then because there was a need to have a secured spot to place all of the candles at night.  There were more than likely multiple candle stands placed precisely around the house, making it convenient and not hard to find in the dark when entering a new room.  As far as the aesthetics of the stand, the finely crafted, hand-carved wooden spindle table would had been placed next to a chair or sofa, where groups of people gathered.  The stand itself would turn into a conversation piece, as well as serving as an everyday function, which made that space significant within a larger space, the house.  

In present day, the candle stand can be compared to a lantern or lamp sitting on a stand or side table.  The invention of electricity made everything so easy in out day-to-day lives and the candle is pretty much just a use of decoration.  Though the stand, which was once used to hold candles, is now replaced with a lamp.  The same concept remains, but is just replaced with a new and easier invention.  The light bulb, with which we also take for granted, could be contrasted to the flame of the candle. Even though the light bulb lasts longer than a candle flame, it still burns out.  The candle stand has transformed in some ways, but the function within the space still remains the same, and can be found in different spaces all over the world.

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