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Meuse-Rhine area / Westphalia
Second half 12th century
Bronze-like copper alloy
23.5 cm
15.5 cm

O. van Falke & E. Meyer, Romanische Leuchter und Gefäße - Gießgafäße der Gotik, Berlijn 1935, pp. 5 - 18, afb. 31, 32, 33, 85, 89, 90.
H. Hoos, Kerzenleuchter as Acht Jahrhunderten, Frankfurt am Main 1987, cat. no. 14, p. 82.

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This rare pricket candlestick with elaborate Romanesque openwork and figures, was made in the second half of the 12th century, in the Meuse-Rhine area / Westphalia. The base of the candlestick is formed by ornate openwork and engraved tendrils, with three winged dragon legs, topped by three stylized angels. The seated angels raise their heads, with their hair back and their hands in their laps. Their wings touch the base of the candlestick. In the rank work between the legs are three animal heads. The smooth stem has an openwork knot, with engraved tendrils. The stem extends into a round profiled grease trap, with conical pricket. The grease trap is supported by three dragon-like creatures, which carry the grease trap with head and legs. The candlestick is cast in two pieces: the base and upper part of the candlestick are connected by two upright pins. The pins fall into the slots of the upper part. The pricket candlestick has a dark green ground patina.

This type of candlestick, also called 'rankenleuchter' for the curly foliage that mainly characterizes the base, has its origins in the Meuse-Rhine area and was manufactured from the mid-12th century through the 13th century. The production shifted over time to the east and especially the region around Hildesheim has known a flourishing production of rankenleuchters. Based on analysis of the material, a bronze-like copper alloy with almost no zinc, and the stylistic motifs, this candlestick can be placed in the Maas-Rhine area / Westphalia, in the period 1150 - 1200. The upper part, with the three dragons under the rim of the grease trap corresponds to candlesticks with a West German origin, as described in Falke & Meijer (Fig. 85). The base of the candlestick has similarities to an altar candlestick from Gandersheim Abbey, made in a Hildesheim workshop around 1200. The two pins connecting the upper and lower parts correspond to western candlesticks, possibly Cologne, around 1150, as depicted in Falke & Meyer (figs. 89, 90).  


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