Page 1 of 1

Rat de Cave

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:32 pm
by Dave B
My mum recintly gave me a 'Rat de Cave'. a french candle holder, which she picked up in an abbey gift shop becuase she thought it might interest me. The bumf with it suggests it goes back to about the norman conquest or more. It would be nice to thing so as it is a very usefull bit of kit.

does anyone know anything?

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:01 pm
by sierrakitten
Google comes up with...
(any good?)

burgundyonline.com/accessories3.html

This candle-stand called « Cellar-rat » by the French, was a working tool used in all Burgundy wine cellars.
Its origin stems from far back in the past. In the year 1000 the monks of the Abbey of Cluny used it already and an antique model can be seen in the Ochier Museum in Cluny.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:08 pm
by Dave B
That the chap, but all they have is the text of the leaflet which I posted. I was interested in any provenance etc.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:10 pm
by sierrakitten
Try the museum?

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:16 pm
by Gandi
A question to ask yourself Dave is why does it allow you to adjust the height of the candle?

Surely if you're just using it as a candlestick, how high the candle is is immaterial?

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:20 pm
by Dave B
Imagine hanging it on the side of a barrel.

If the top of the candel is in the neck of the spiral as pictured then it is quite resistant to blowing out. If it is right down in the spiral it is hard to light and burns the thing it hangs from. if it is up tall the wax misses the tray and also you loose the sheltering effect.

There's no doubting that it works, I use it a lot. The question is one of provenance and do we believe a french museum gift shop.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:08 pm
by Lord High Everything Esle
If you were distilling using a candle it might be useful to be able to keep it at the same distance from the objects.

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:31 pm
by Kate Tiler
Dave - Jack will probably kill me for passing on limner's secrets, (not to mention what Jorge will say!) but having an adjustable height candle is essential if you are using a water-filled globe to increase the light cast by the candle in order to see to write or paint by.

Once you have your globe set up in the correct position so that the candle shines through & onto the page you are working at, within half an hour the blessed candle has burned down & you would have to rearrange your whole setup - unless - ha ha! You can twiddle the spiral turney up thing & raise the candle - without risking the whole lot falling over by adding another book to the pile that it is sat on...

We (Jack & me) are going to use these for that exact purpose next year :) Don't tell anyone or we will have to kill you.....

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:53 am
by Gandi
exactly Kate, they do work for just that purpose, but I've only ever seen them from the C18th/C19th on and then associated with lacemaking.

I don't have the book to hand, but the antique collectors club book 'Fire & Light' which documents the extensive collection of John Caspel(?) is probbly the best place to look for details.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:01 pm
by Medicus Matt
How bizarre. I was in a pub in Swallowcliffe near Old Wardour castle yesterday and they had just this sort of candlestick on the table. Made by a bloke who lives in the village. I can get price details if anyone's interested?

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:13 pm
by Jenn R
Ooooh yes please!!! Thanks Matt.

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:37 pm
by Lord High Everything Esle
Guess who is bringing tousands of them to TORM and NLHF ?

At £6 each (half price Xmas offer)

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:38 pm
by Lord High Everything Esle
Yes tousand and tousands

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:54 pm
by Jenn R
Oooooh....give me a clue? :D

Matt, sorry you don't need to find out about them, thanks anyway!

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:35 am
by Medicus Matt
Fair enough. Wouldn't take the bread from LHEE's mouth :wink:

Mind you, the one's I saw were about twice the size of the one's in Dave's picture (unless he has 'tiles of unusual size' on his walls).

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:41 pm
by Nigel
go on Mr H

I'll have a couple

Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:48 pm
by Dave B
Medicus Matt wrote:Fair enough. Wouldn't take the bread from LHEE's mouth :wink:

Mind you, the one's I saw were about twice the size of the one's in Dave's picture (unless he has 'tiles of unusual size' on his walls).
In fact those are small (4") tiles (Do you like them - I just re-did the kitchen). For scale the candle in there is the standard household size and is half burnt.

The whole thing to the top is about 5 1/2" high