This wrought iron holder has a spiral stem and a wooden block as a base. It was used as both a candle holder and a rushlight holder. It dates from the eighteenth century. Rushlights became extremely common after 1709 with the introduction of a tax on candles, which lasted until 1831. Rushes were peeled and the pith was weathered and immersed in hot bacon fat and left to dry, before being burned.

CollectionMuseum of English Rural Life, University of Reading
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Subject TermsDOMESTIC AND FAMILY LIFE : lighting