Light is pure; it penetrates darkness; it moves with incredible velocity; it nourishes life; it illuminates and therefore it is a fitting symbol of the Church and Religions dating back to ancient times.
In the history of religion, light and fire have frequently accompanied the sacred rites of many peoples. The fire from the altar candlestick is used symbolically for those things holy- giving light to those things respected.
In the beginning it was lamps fed with olive oil that gave light. Since typical church services were held in the evening or early morning, it was natural to have light; however, the candle and candlestick came at slow progression. In the early days of the Church, candlesticks were not placed on the altar though lights were used in the church, and especially near the altar–the light originally was lamps and chandeliers fed with oil and lit.
There are FIVE parts to the candlestick:
- The foot
- The stem
- The knop, which is usually in the middle and aids lifting of the candlestick
- The bowl, used to receive the drippings from the burning wax candle
- The pricket, used to hold the wax candle in place
Altar candlesticks are made of GOLD, SILVER, COPPER GILT, LATTEN (an alloy of copper and zinc that resembles brass), BRASS, CRYSTAL or WOOD.
The first ancient altar candlesticks were low in nature with tapers of no great height, where high tapers placed on top of the candlesticks are of modern introduction.
RF ANTIQUES and CROWN AND COLONY ANTIQUES carries altar candlesticks in all shapes and sizes and made of wood and metals. We maintain a beautiful selection at all times. They are used in homes on fireplace mantels, dining tables, buffets, entry hall pieces — in bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. They are an accessory that should be in every home.
On the candlesticks in the picture below– used in an entry way — you can clearly see the prickets on the top of the candlestick where the candle would remain secure.
“Since ancient times, light and fire have reminded people that God is here with us. When you bring light you are reminding people that God is with us always. In the Protestant and Catholic faith the lighted candle also reminds us that Christ is the Light of the world. Many persons like to think of the two candles on or beside the Lord’s table as reminders that Christ is both human and divine.”
Altar Candlesticks no matter where they are used bring beauty and pleasure to the eye of the beholder.
Below are metal candlesticks found at RF Antiques
If you want to see some of the oldest altar candlesticks, some dating back to the 15th century, there are many churches in France that have beautiful altars where candlesticks are still displayed and used. Here are a few that may be of interest:
An altar with elaborate candlesticks in St. Sulpice Cathedral in Paris, France —
The outside of St. Sulpice
Mont Saint Michel Abbey: In Normandy, France and still home to Benedictine monks.
Reims Cathedral: Reims, France, on the Vesle River east-northeast of Paris. Over 800 years old – it took over a century to complete.
Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe: Le Puy-en-Velay, France. There are 268 steep steps carved right into the rock face that have to be climbed! This church was constructed in the middle of the 10th century.
The history of the altar candlestick is rich. The candlesticks that we have in our shops have their own story depending on where they came from in France. Whether you have just one or several, the candlestick presents itself as a true conversation piece for the home.
Single altar candlesticks or displayed in pairs –they give a wonderful texture and interest to any room.
Please visit our showrooms to see all the choices we offer. You can also visit our website www.crownandcolony.com If you see something you like, please call us 251-928-8336 or 251-928-4808 to inquire.
most pictures are our own however for those that are not we give special credit to Ebanista.com, BlisshomeandDesign, RobertaPetersDesign and 1stdibs.com and Pinterest for sharing pictures for the informational use in this post