Rushlight / Canhwyllharn i frwynnen a channwyll
A well patinated wrought iron rushlight and candle holder.
18th century Irish
5½” dia x 11½” h / 14cm dia x 29.2cm h
A simple form of lighting in many homes. Rushes were collected in late summer when the skin was peeled, leaving a small strip to give support. The rush was then drawn through melted fat in a “grisset” pan. When dry they could be held in the rushlight holder and lit. The following is taken from “Old English Household Life” by Gertrude Jekyll and Sydney R Jones, 1939 – The ancient system of lighting in English homes, is often feeble, was not entirely inadequate, even though derived from slender sources. In common with other simple home-made expedients it suffered the slings of destructive criticism, and was the butt for caustic wit: “As rushlights in a spacious room, Just burn enough to form a gloom” (1764)