Early Lighting

Antique Brass Capstan Candlestick Circa 1500
  • I have been fortunate to acquire a fabulous collection of 16th through 18th century brass candlesticks. I will list them separately as I can find time to make it happen so please ask for another style if you don’t see it here. Also, please see the group photo at the end of the listing which shows 12 individual and one pair of early candlesticks. However, even this group shot does not show the entire collection—so, really, ask if you have a style you are seeking.

    Early brass candlesticks helped reflect light into a room, not only from the flame but also from the ambient light reflected on and magnified back into the room from the polished shiny surface of the brass. This is the same principle of using bright yellow damask for furnishings and mirrors. See for example,Kelm, Laura, “The Restoration of Stenton's Yellow Lodging Room,” https://www.incollect.com/articles/ochre-old-fustic-and-maple-stenton-s-yellow-lodging-room-restored. “Furnishings” was the period name for fabrics used to furnish the bed and to upholster seating. Furnishings were often the most valuable part of the household.

    A fabulous little capstan candlestick with a trumpet base and an octagonal candle cup. Although it was identified by the collector as from the Low Countries (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg), the only example I can find with these features and a rolled lip of the mid-drip pan is identified as Spanish dated as circa 1500. See The Brass Book Schiffer, Peter, Nancy & Herbert, Schiffer Publishing, Exton, PA (1978) at 154A. It has twin shield or escutcheon shaped holes in each side of the candle cup for extracting the candle. The candlestick is in polished condition. It bares expected bends and dings. Looking from the bottom up, you can see a crack in the base. I didn’t notice it until I looked at the photo from below and find it a small apology for such an early candle with rare qualities.

    #6409    $775