Today I visited a local museum and they asked me to look at a mystery object. It is made from wrought iron, we think it was mounted to a wall and most likely a lighting item.
There is some sort of central spike in the basket akin to a pricket candlestick, but a candlestick would not really work because it is all open work. It is quite a large object, I would say almost a meter in height.
There is no provenance  and has a gothic feel. It is quite a tour de force of blacksmithing with forge welds etc.
Perhaps you or any other members would have an idea of its function?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


1 Response

  1. Several members responded about this object in the Netherlands Open-Air Museum in Arnhem. The consensus is that it is a Cresset, a wall-mounted, wrought-iron frame for holding flammable material such as oily rags or rope soaked in pitch, to provide outside light. They seem to have been largely Italian in origin, and there are still several examples in situ, notably in Tuscany. The Victoria and Albert Museum has such an example, which can be viewed in its on-line collection. This example, which could have come from one of the many medieval buildings destroyed in Arnhem in 1944, is of more robust construction than the V&A one. Although probably first installed in the Middle Ages, they may have continued to be used until the 18th century when proper street lighting was introduced.

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