Thursday, 20 November 2014
Here is the answer to yesterday's 'mystery object'. It is an adjustable candle stand, made in England, a very few years either side of the year 1800. It's purpose is to enable its owner to read small print by candle light, by raising or lowering the candle flame so as to be as near the page as is safely possible.
And here is a photo showing your blogger reading a rather small printed version of Tom Brown's Schooldays, and demonstrating how the candle stand would have been used.
It was sold to me as being a lace maker's lamp stand. A lace maker's lamp is a footed glass sphere that, when filled with water, became a quite effective magnifying glass. However, my home village finally got the electricity in 1950, so that I do know about reading by candle light, and the adjustable candle stand made reading by candle light a much easier proposition. It probably would have made lacemaking easier of a winter evening, but I think the major purpose would have been to assist in reading after dark.