07 September 2008

candles and candlesticks

The Gloucester candlestick, now in London's Victoria & Albert Museum, was made for Gloucester Abbey some time between 1104 and 1114, so about 15 years before Cadfael became a monk and about 30 years before Cadfael's adventures as told by Ellis Peters. There are three inscriptions on the candlestick, the above link translates one of them; for translations of the other inscriptions we have to go to another page at the Victoria & Albert Museum's site (scroll down to the section titled "Christian Symbols of Light"). (picture under GNU Free Documentation License from wikipedia)

For more general information on mediaeval lighting, see this page of links to pictures and references, drawn up for re-creationists. This page from a commercial candle-makers' site has instructions on how to make mediaeval style candles. The recipe calls for beeswax rather than tallow, so these would be candles for churches and the wealthy.

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