Here at Patrick Sandberg Antiques, we have a vast range of bronze candlesticks and candelabras, all beautifully crafted in a number of different styles. Before electricity, candles were the main provider of light, and would feature in different situations, such as in the reception room, or on the dining table. But why was bronze used as a material?
What is Bronze?
Bronze is an alloy of copper, tin and occasionally, small amounts of lead or other metals. First used in around 3000BC, it was a rare material before the discovery of large tin deposits. Before the development of iron at around 1000BC, bronze had a wide variety of uses, such as in tools, weapons and armour.
Why use Bronze?
Bronze may not be as malleable as other materials such as silver, and does take a bit more persuasion during forging. However, it has unique casting properties which means it has been continued to be used over the years.
As molten bronze solidifies, it expands. This assures that every detail of the mould will be reproduced onto the final product. As the bronze then cools, it will contract slightly, which means removal from the mould is easier than other materials. Bronze also naturally creates a unique protective layer around the product, which helps to protect it from demise over the years.
There were many techniques when it came to decorating bronze candlesticks. Engraving gave the crafter the opportunity to demonstrate their skill, and add in fine details to give the piece extra character. The photo above shows a great example of how intricate the engraving was. Ormolu can also been seen wonderfully on this example, as well as fine amounts of gadrooning on the nozzles. This just demonstrates the skill of the maker, when they were creating outstanding pieces like this without the availability of the technology we have today.