Pair of Bronze Pricket Candlesticks
Pair of Bronze Pricket Candlesticks
Pair of Bronze Pricket Candlesticks
Pair of Bronze Pricket Candlesticks

Pair of Bronze Pricket Candlesticks

c. 1550 Germany

Offered by Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Price Upon Request
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Listing Information
A pair of bronze pricket candlesticks with three lenticular knops down the stem. The bases with a stepped outline. The candle was secured to its holder using a pricket or spike, which was used to impale the candle, holding it in place.

John Caspall discusses pricket candlesticks in ‘Making Fire & Light in the home pre-1820’ (Antique Collectors’ Club, 2000, pp.61-70). He identifies the distinctive German ‘tall, slender, and parallel stemmed pricket, with three or four lenticular knops equidistant along its hollow stem’. Our candlesticks are a pair of this type of pricket candlestick, and the drip pan and the base are recognisable by their ‘stepped’ outline.

Caspall explains that the majority of this type of pricket candlesticks were manufactured in Nuremburg, which was ‘the nucleus of the German brass and bronze industries’, and comments that: ‘Pricket candlesticks of a height which much exceeds 12ins. are more likely to have been intended for ecclesiastical use’ (ibid, pp.67-68). He identifies a national characteristic which distinguishes German, and more rarely Dutch prickets, as being the method by which the candle spike is fixed, in which ‘the spike is riveted into a disc of the copper alloy used for the main casting. This disc together with its spike was then fitted inside the drip pan, and fixed in place by punching three equally spaced brass, bronze, or occasionally iron rivets, through the disc to finish on the underside of the drip pan.’ The spike is fixed in this way on our pair of candlesticks, and the stems also have a hollow core and rough lathe finishing on the undersides, which Caspall describes as being characteristic of German prickets (ibid, pp.66-67).

Caspall illustrates two pairs of brass prickets from Nuremburg (Figures 111 and 112). The pair of brass ecclesiastical pricket candlesticks in Figure 112 are very similar in height to our pair. Caspall describes an additional detail which typifies the Nuremburg pricket, and which can be found on our pair: ‘the method by which the iron candle spike is affixed to the drip pan centre… The base of the spike finishes in a thin gauge iron disc, superimposed on which is a larger diameter iron disc, which in turn is cut to fit exactly inside the drip pan. Both discs are then riveted together with three iron rivets’, although in the case of our pair there are only two – the innermost rivets which can be seen inside the drip pan. Caspall comments that: ‘It is paradoxical that these otherwise carefully finished sixteenth century candlesticks should invariably be disfigured by the usual crude spike fixing illustrated in Figure 113’. The high ragged burrs which are left show that a rough hole was punched through the iron disc by less skilled workers or blacksmiths, once the turners had finished their work (ibid, pp.66-69).
Height 57.00 cm (22.44 inches)
Width 18.50 cm (7.28 inches)
Depth 18.50 cm (7.28 inches)
Stock Code
Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Thomas Coulborn & Sons
Vesey Manor
64 Birmingham Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B72 1QP

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