A Pair of Pricket Candlesticks, Southern Germany, c. 1500

A Pair of Pricket Candlesticks

A Pair of Pricket Candlesticks

Southern Germany, c. 1500


53 cm; 1 ft. 9 in.


Private collection, The Netherlands
The property of a descendant of Anton Philips (1874-1951) (cofounder and later chairman of Royal Philips Electronics NV in Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

Each with the original pricket above a turned tapering drip pan, the shaft with three disks above a spreading circular foot, beautiful rich olive patina.

Characterised by knobbed baluster moulding, inverted bell shaped drip pans, high prickets and a hollow squat bell shaped base, this form of candlestick had become very popular in central Europe by the middle of the 15th century. Candlesticks of this form were produced in centres such as Nuremberg for both local markets and export. Of solid construction and substantial weight and height, they were well suited for lighting domestic interiors. Larger examples which looked imposing from a distance were often used as altar candlesticks. Expensive items at the time of manufacture, these candlesticks would almost certainly have been used with beeswax candles. In the 15th century candles were made from tallow (animal fat) or beeswax. Beeswax candles were much more expensive than tallow but burned with a clear bright flame, did not smell and melted comparatively slowly.

SOLD: Private collection, United States