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Tin Sconce

ca.1810-1840
Origin: America
Height: 20 1/2" Width of crest: 5 7/8" Width at base: 5 1/4" Depth: 3 3/16"
Tinned sheet iron
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1959-144
Tinned sheet iron wall sconce composed of five components, including a slightly incurving back plate with a suspension hole, wired sides, two bands of swedged triple-beads, and a soldered on quadruple-lobed crest. Its semicircular bottom plate has a turned edge where it is soldered to the wire-edged side wall. An open candle socket with a folded lip is soldered to the center of the bottom.
Label:Though dark and dull now, this sconce was brilliant and silvery when new. In an age illuminated by candlelight, the "tin" sconce was superior to other sorts of candle holders in certain applications. Quick to make and inexpensive to purchase, such a sconce could rest on a table as easily as it could be hung on a wall. Its tall back plate served two purposes: it simultaneously protected the wall from the flame and soot of the candle and reflected light back into the room it was brightening. Even the decorative features of this sconce served purposes. The forward curving crest of the back plate, with its fancy lobed edge, would have directed light downward, and the swaged in beads would have added rigidity to the piece.
Provenance:John Kenneth Byard, Norwalk, CT. Advbertised in, ANTIQUES, LXXV (may, 1959), p. 409, illustrated.
Mark(s):The owner's initials "J.B," in large slanted block letters, is punched into the front of the crest.