Sale Price $200
A nice 7" tall tin hogscraper signed "Bill" on the penny tab for adjusting the candle height. The tab moves smoothly and the chair hanging tab remains. The bottom wears traces of early black paint and the hand-wrought screw and bolt authenticate its 19th century beginnings. These sturdy candlesticks were used throughout the first half of the 19th century. Hung from the back of a high backed chair, they cast light over the sitter's shoulder to aid in reading or guide the nimble fingers of a lady working at her needlework. These candlesticks were often called "pork barrel" candlesticks because the lady of the house could take this candlestick down to the cellar and hang it from the pork or pickle barrel while she cut her family a piece of the salted pork. The name "hogscraper" comes from the similarity in shape to a sheet iron tool make for scraping the bristles off of a newly butchered hog. When I began collecting, it was thought that these candlesticks actually doubled as hogscrapers, but I think conventional thought today is that the bottoms are too small and too flat to have worked well for this purpose. Funny, though, I just got an email from a viewer who said he recently bought a hogscraper candlestick similar to this one and when he was cleaning out wax from the inside, he discovered a snarl of hog bristles inside. So maybe conventional thought should go back to what we once believed--looks like they really were used to scrape the bristles! They are a necessity for a collection of Americana and finding a signed one is a real plus.