‘Save-Alls’ and other Economy Devices for Candlesticks

Materials: Silver plate and brass.
Dimensions: N/A.
Place of Origin: English.
Date: 18th/19th century.
Maker: Unknown.
Present Location: private collection.


Economy devices are employed to use up the last inch or so of a candle, most commonly by raising the candle stub within the socket. Several different methods were evolved for this action, some were simply operated by a rod connected to the base of the socket which could be pushed upward from the side or base of the candlestick. More complex examples used a screw thread to ‘wind up’ the candle in the socket, leaving it exposed on a small spike or pricket so that it could continue to burn right to the end while still firmly fixed. A more simple method was to use a ‘save-all’, effectively a replacement nozzle with one or more spikes on the top to hold the candle firmly. This would fit into the socket of any candlestick.

1 Response

  1. Interesting examples of such economy devices for candlesticks of this and other forms are among other collections in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the city museum in Deventer (the Netherlands). In Dutch they are called ‘profijter’ (= ‘profits’) or ‘zuinigje’ (= ‘economical’).

    See: collectie.boijmans.nl/en/objects?search=%09adjustable+candleholder and data.collectienederland.nl/search/?q=zuinigje*

    It is always interesting to find contemporary written sources for all sort of objects. Old dictionaries can teach us quite a lot, as in this case:
    ‘A compleat dictionary English and Dutch to which is added a grammar, for both languages’. Originally complied by William Sewel; But now, not only reviewed, and more than the half part augmented, yet according to the modern spelling, entirely improved; by Egbert Buys, Amsterdam 1766.

    Page 704: ‘A save-all’ – ‘een kaarspijpje, profijtertje , zuinigje’
    Page 654: ‘Put the piece of candle on the save-all’ – ‘Zet het endje kaars op ‘t profytje or profytertje’

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