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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1540 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

From the 14th until the 17th centuries, brass candlesticks appeared in all but the most prosperous European houses, and were made in forms peculiar to the material.

The form of the stem and base of candlesticks at this time 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 and had a high cylindrical or slightly conical base surmounted by a flat circular wax pan and a short circular stem. These candlesticks were introduced into Europe by the Muslim community in Venice from the 14th century.

Broadly speaking the development of the base of European candlesticks can be attributed to Near Eastern influence, while the stem, which gradually became longer, with an increasingly complicated range of knops and balusters, is largely European in origin.

During the 15th and 16th centuries an interesting variation was the replacement of the conventional shaft with a model of a human figure in contemporary dress, as in this example. The outstretched arms supported either a socket or a pricket with a wax pan immediately underneath.

Physical description

In the form of a man in slashed clothes, with bearded head and a flat cap with a feather at the back. He is holding in each outstretched hand a candle socket. With round, moulded base.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


ca. 1540 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 9.5 in, Diameter: 6.125 in

Descriptive line

Brass candlestick in the shape of a bearded man holding candle sockets in his outstretched hands, German, early - mid 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



Subjects depicted

Cap; Figure




Metalwork Collection

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