Although common in Roman times, candlesticks of the socket variety were not seen again in Europe until the fourteenth century. The revival of this type might well have been due to the return of merchants of the wax trade from the East, where socket candlesticks are known to have existed as early as the thirteenth century. The sockets were usually left open as the sides to facilitate the removal of the candle ends in order to reuse the wax, an expensive commodity. The drip pan, which in pricket candlesticks was placed directly below the candle, has here been lowered and incorporated into the high circular base. The fifteenth-century tendency to embellish the stem in manifested here with the skill that so distinguished the metalworkers of the Lowlands.
[ Blumka Gallery(sold 1957)]
New York. The Cloisters Museum & Gardens. "The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages," March 28, 1975–June 15, 1975.
Freeman, Margaret. "The Iconography of the Merode Altarpiece." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 16, no. 4 (December 1957). p. 132.
Husband, Timothy B., and Jane Hayward, ed. The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. no. 1, p. 22.