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Pewter Candlestick

Description:

These two identical pewter candlesticks will have ben made as a pair, and are an example of early pewter.

 

Candles were mainly made of either tallow or beeswax. The majority of people use tallow candles as they were cheaper and could be made at home my moulding most cooking fats, with beef or mutton fat being most effective. The purer and more properly rendered the tallow, the less soot, smoke and odour it produced, however this was more expensiveand more time consuming.

Wax candles were better than tallow in most ways. They were brighter; produced less odour and soot; and burned for hours longer. Many honeycombs' worth of beewax were required and so beeswax candles were very expensive. They had previously been used mainly in chuches durin celebrations and Mass, but by the late 16th and 17th centuries, they were used by nobles and other successful business men to show their wealth. Beeswax candles were regularly bleached making them almost white in colour.

Brass were expensive to produce and was considered and luxury. Brass candlesticks would have been primarily owned by the rich and so it is likely that they held wax candles. Pewter was used as an alternative to brass for the less wealthy.

Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:0213.14
Digital Number:
DMDM111n
Copyright:
Dumfries and Galloway Council