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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass or bronze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

From the 14th until the 17th centuries, brass candlesticks appeared in all but the most prosperous houses. Socketed candlesticks made their appearance in the late 13th century and thereafter became relatively common, replacing the earlier pricket form, at least for domestic use. The earliest sockets were polygonal in cross-section. By the 15th century they were round. At first, two vertical apertures opposite each other were cut into the sides if each socket, in order to facilitate the extraction of the burnt-out stub. As the production of cheap tallow candles became more sophisticated the size of these apertures became correspondingly smaller. By the second half of the 16th century the apertures were small circular holes, until finally in the 18th century they disappeared altogether.

The form of stem and the base of the late medieval candlestick is the result of a complicated interplay between two typological currents. The first type naturally evolved from the simple European pricket candlestick, where the shaft is supported on three legs. The second type originated in the Near East. As early as the 13th century the characteristic Near Eastern brass candlestick had a high cylindrical or slightly conical base surmounted by a flat circular wax pan and a short circular stem. These were introduced into Europe by the Muslim community in Venice from the 14th century.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, an interesting variation replaced the conventional shaft with a model of a human figure in contemporary dress; the outstretched arms supporting either a socket or a pricket with a drip tray immediately underneath.

Physical description

The candlestick stem is formed as a figure in contemporary German costume, holding up two nozzles for lights.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


early 16th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brass or bronze


Height: 9.25 in

Descriptive line

Brass or bronze candlestick of a figure in German costume, German, early 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jemma Davey and Angus Patterson, "Fashionably Dated: A 'Landsknecht' Candlestick at the Victoria and Albert Museum", The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, Vol. 20, June 2012, pp. 34-41, ill. p. 36


Brass; Bronze

Subjects depicted

Figure, Male


Metalwork; Lighting


Metalwork Collection

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