Saturday, 10 October 2015

Saturday.


I purchased the illustrated pair of 'side ejector' English brass candlesticks on eBay. They were delivered on Friday. I nearly didn't get the one on the right, as the lady vendor thought that it was probably unsaleable (in which view I think she is right). However she described it, then on my saying "Yes, please, if only for cannibalising purposes", she went and recovered it from the dustbin in which it was then reposing.  The candlesticks date from around 1720, and are both fairly filthy. One as you can see is in quite good condition, the other isn't; it has large holes in the main stem. This is not particularly rare, although as the vendor so nearly did to one of these, the holey one usually gets thrown out. As the price I'd paid for the two would have been a fair price for a single candlestick of this type, I didn't mind too much.


They are not really 'Mystery Objects' , but would anyone care to hazard a guess - Why the difference ?


                                           I do know the answer - it's very simple.

5 comments:

Crowbard said...

I guess the one on the right was the one that was taken up to bed every night as there is much more wear on the base detailing. This extra duty would, over the centuries, have caused wear in the slider causing it to slip back. When the candle stub burned within the barrel the brass was weakened. Lateral slots were cut in the vertical slot to prevent the candle slipping back down but eventually the heat-weakened barrel cracked from the abuse. ~ ??

Mike and Ann said...

Well guessed, Crowbard. The very worn candlestick would have been the one that had stood for three hundred years on the right hand end of the mantleshelf; and, as we are predominantly right-handed, this would have been the one picked up and taken upstairs to undress by. Over three centuries this would have been enough to give the stick the amount of wear that shows. Most pairs of candlesticks show that one has rather more wear than the the other - again the one on the right hand end of the mantleshelf. I've only ever seen one in worse condition - and that was one of a pair of pewter candlesticks, which is, of course, a softer metal. Don't see this effect much nowadays - most of us no longer 'go to bed by candlelight'.

Crowbard said...

I note that of our sitting-room light-switches the one by the stair door has more wear than the one by the dining-room door for much the same reason.

Z said...

And items don't generally stay in the same family and the same house for so long, either, I should think.

Mike and Ann said...

No..... but their purpose and usage remains exactly the same, until they are overtaken by the installation of electricity (in parts of the country around 1950) which still gives them 250 years of wear.