General Collectibles > Miscellaneous Antiques

Very Ornate Silver Plated Candle Snuffers

Item#: MIS116



Very Ornate silver plated snuffers signed S J L R. The scissors like Candle Snuffers were used to shorten the wicks of candles. These snuffers stand on three legs and are highly decorated with foliate and floral raised motifs. There are two blades; one fitted with a box, which is a receptacle for the charred wick that has been cut off, the other, with a plate that is pressed into the box when the candle is snuffed. The top of the box is also beautifully embossed. The two blades are moved with the aid of a spring located below a central rosette. Above the rosette are 4 elaborately engraved letters SJLR. The pointed end of the snuffers was used to dig the wick out of the remaining wax. Some of the plating has rubbed off of the point. Snuffers, also known as wick trimmers, appeared in the late fifteenth century out of the need to trim the wicks of twisted cotton strands. The twisted wicks did not burn off and produced a large, smoking flame if not trimmed periodically. To snuff a candle means to trim the wick, not extinguish the flame. Vast improvements were made to wicks when in 1834 'mordanting' was discovered. It causes the wick outside the flame to curl and turn to ash.