Sunday, 29 May 2016

Guess what? More candlesticks!


To the more observant amongst you (I am thinking of John Gray in particular), these two candlesticks which I bought last night may seem pretty much identical to the pair I bought a week ago, and just as similar to the pair I bought a year ago. This is because they are.

H.I.: "You already have four of them. Why do you want another two?"

ME: "If I could buy another twenty, I would. Then I could rent them out as period drama props, for when they are filming a scene set in an early 18th century coffee house or tavern."

You see? I do have a plan, or at least the justification of one. I started off by saying that the original pair must be very rare, even though hundreds were made for public use at the time, but now I seem to be attracting the survivors.

Just to keep you entertained on this lovely, sunny afternoon indoors, I will run through the identification details again. This time, keep up.

They had to be plain and made from inexpensive materials, otherwise they would have been stolen. They were not even silver-plated, as most brass sticks were for domestic use.

They had to be robust (they are all cast solid) to survive the odd tavern-fight.

They had to be tall, so when the candle burnt down they still cast light over a wide area of table.

They had to have plain tops - any drip-tray would have cast an irritating shadow over paperwork or playing cards.

This pair will arrive sometime next week, when I will be in Spain. I will sit in some ancient wine bar, drinking the lovely Malaga wine and dreaming of setting-to with the Brasso on all six upon my return, then lining them up in a row on some huge, oak table.

Any domestic chore can be a source of joy and contentment with the right attitude. I wish I could find the right attitude toward my laundry, which is sitting in the bath waiting for me to finish it off as I write...

29 comments:

  1. Correct me if I'm wrong but I didn't think you were meant to clean them but to keep them as they are to retain the wonderful patina ?!!!!! Don't they decrease in value when you clean them ?
    .... and, did you get a bit of a discount on the one on the right ? ...... it's wonky !! ..... lovely though ! XXXX

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    1. So long as the sticks have been polished all their lives - and most have - it is ok to polish them again. I have had a dark, 17th century one which would have been half destroyed through polishing, so in a case like that, you obviously don't.

      I think it looks wonky in the photo. One of my others is really wonky, and I will gently straighten it out. This is a tricky thing to do to brass without breaking it, so I will take great care, probably making a jig so as not to overdo it to breaking point.

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    2. Most brass sticks (but not these) were silver-plated, but there is usually no trace of the silver left due to polishing. Then the question is, is it ok to re-plate them?

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    3. Glad you know what you are doing. I worried too about the polishing. In the US, only silver may be polished and still retain value. I wish I could figure out what will sell. I guess I should concentrate on one thing instead of too many.

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    4. I have the bible on early English candlesticks (the book cost me about £120) most illustrations which are not pewter are polished. I also am in intermittent contact with the author - a Dutchman who lives in Amsterdam.

      I don't think I need to worry about ruining any patina over 10 years old.

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  2. This blog (and the rest of it) has slowed down so much for me, that I am glad to give it a rest by going away. Is anyone else suffering the same problem?

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    1. Have you ever thought it might be your equipment? Mine is not slow.

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    2. Perhaps you are in serious need of a defrag.

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    3. Of course I have. Why, I wonder, is everything else acceptably fast, but only blogger slow?

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    4. You did say in brackets (and the rest of it)by which I thought you meant everything.

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    5. Oh, I see. No, I meant all your posts as well as mine.

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    6. It's fucking Chrome - Safari and old Google Search is super fast. I am really fed up with 'improvements'.

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  3. I've just finished washing the shirts. I didn't quite enjoy it, but it was much better than doing them in the evening when I'm half pissed.

    H.I. always irons them for me. She eventually admits that she quite enjoys ironing, but just as she said this, a women came on the radio saying that she would never, ever consider marrying a man who expected his shirts to be ironed for him. She is now reconsidering her attitude.

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    1. The lady you speak of spoke a lot of sense this morning. I just mentioned her in my reply to you on my blog.

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    2. That was the only bit I heard - bad timing!

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    3. Professor Louise Richardson, VC at Oxford University, and adviser to governments around the world on terrorism. So far none of them are hearing her properly unfortunately.

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    4. Irish. That's probably why.

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    5. Do you mean to say you hand wash your shirts in the bathtub?

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  4. I wish I could adopt your attitude about housework. None of it is especially pleasant for me, unless cooking counts.

    I like your candlesticks.

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    Replies
    1. The attitude is only an aspiration, not a reality.

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  5. I once took brasso (or some such) to the brass floor lamp I inherited from my great grandmother. The upright is a spiral, the base and the feet have an intricate stamped pattern, the bridge arm is filigree work. It was a dirty, dirty job, and I never got all the polish out of the nooks and crannies. Twenty years later it is nicely blackened again, and someone else can polish it.

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    1. Good attitude. Let the inheritors spend the effort, unless you want to sell it.

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    2. I'd sell it with the tarnish. Part of its history.

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    3. It is a twenty year history. I am dealing with 300 year histories most of the time, and that includes a polish dating from about one year back. I know what you mean though, polishing brass is a pain.

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  6. "CODE BROWN!!!!!CODE BROWN!"

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  7. The Egypt programme is on .....Secrets of the Sphinx !!! XXXX

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    Replies
    1. John watches, 'Secrets of the Sphincter'.

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  8. Does a good soak in coke (full strenght) do the trick?
    Oh, thats the candlesticks not you or the shirts.

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    Replies
    1. Coke is far too expensive. It's cheaper with Brasso.

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