make the mould, the wick was alternately dipped and cooled until the desired thickness was obtained. At first the wick was the pith of rushes soaked in
household grease; then the introduction of flax or cotton threads gave us the wick much as we have it to-day.
In Paris, in the thirteenth century, there was a guild of travelling candle-makers who went from house to house making candles, Nowadays candles are made from paraffin wax and stearine, by a process introduced about 1854, and brought up to date since; but the old form of tallow candle or dip are still manufactured on a commercial scale by the old dipping and cooling process, each dip adding about oneeighth of an inch to the diameter of the candle. The tallow dips are principally used by plumbers as a flux; and---odd alternativel—a. considerable quantity by certain African natives for anointing.
A Beeswax Problem Beeswax candles have been used from Roman times and are mentioned by the earliest writers.
The "dipping " process is unsuitable for beeswax candles, owing to the wax's property of contracting on cooling and its liability to stick, moulding is impracticable. Recourse, therefore, is had to the somewhat primitive method of " pouring " the melted wax over a suspended wick until the required thickness is obtained. The candle is then rolled on a marble stab to impart uniformity of finish.
The difference of the two processes is illustrated by the existence of two Livery companies in the City of London, the Tallow Chandlers and the Wax Chandlers.
Both candles and candlesticks seem to have had an ecclesiastical origin. It is not until the Middle Ages that we find them being used in the household. One of the earliest mention of the candlestick is the command to Moses to make a candlestick of hammered gold, consisting of a base with a shaft rising out of it and six arms,
the central shaft and the six arms supporting seven lamps on their summits. When Solomon built the Temple he placed in it ten gold candlesticks, five on the north, and five on the south side of the Holy Place.
Our knowledge of this seven-branched candlestick is derived from its being represented on the arch of Titus at Rome; as, on the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus it was carried to Rome with the other spoils. But the treasure never reached Rome, as the ship carrying it was sunk.
History of Candlesticks
A very primitive form of candlestick was a torch made of slips of bark, vine tendrils, or wood dipped in wax tied together and held in the hand by the lower end. Such are frequently figured on ancient vases. The next step was to attach to them a cup (discus) to catch the dripping wax or tallow.
By the eleventh or twelfth centuries the artists had turned their attention to designs for candlesticks, turning out much beautiful work of this kind. The early designs held the candle by a spike; later a socket was substituted. Previous to the seventeenth century, only iron, bronze, copper and latten, were used for making candlesticks. The last-named is a mixed metal like brass made of copper and zinc, and used especially for monumental brasses and effigies. A fine example is the screen of Henry VII's tomb at Westminster.
After the seventeenth century we find silver candlesticks introduced, and later comes the exquisite beauty of' Sheffield plate and china. But the golden age of the candlestick was the eighteenth century, perhaps including also the last quarter of the seventeenth, since the later Jacobean, Queen Anne, and early Georgian forms are often extremely elegant.
As with most articles of domestic use, the candlestick, after having known the fantastic and the extravagant in design, has tended, for some time past, towards that elegant simplicity seen at its best in the severe grace of the Adams style. And since, artistically speaking, candlesticks are among the most important pieces of household furniture. this austerity of design affords a gracious relief among the suite "period " furniture of the Tottenham Court Road and other schools of. _that ilk.