Adjustable French Candlestick
An 18th-century French candlestick. The earliest candlestick that has been discovered by archaeologists was made of clay, and dates back to 400 BC. As humans have been crafting and burning candles since antiquity, it’s sensible that implements were specifically designed to hold these light sources relatively early in human history. Little is known about candlestick design until the Middle Ages, at which point the objects were commonly found in both domestic and ecclesiastical spaces. By the 18th century, candlesticks came in a staggering amount of shapes, sizes, and complexities. They were made from a wide variety of materials, ranging from the economical to the extravagant. The simplest form of domestic candlestick was a block of wood, into which an iron spike was driven vertically. The lowest part of the candle would be impaled on this spike, and the upper end lighted. This adjustable French candlestick is a more elevated version of that classic style. It features a spiral design and a sliding tab on the body of the candlestick, which allows the user to adjust the candle’s height as it burns down. The simple, well constructed design enables it to complement a wide variety of decor styles.
At this time in France, Louis XV (r. 1715–1774), ascended to the crown at the age of five, in September 1715. He would be the second longest reigning monarch in French history, holding the throne for almost 59 years. During this time, he gained the nickname “Louis the Beloved.” Historians generally criticize his reign, stating the wars he fought drained the country’s treasury and produced little gain. His grandson, Louis XVI (r. 1774–1792), became his successor.