What is a Candlestand or Torchère?

So what were Candlestands or Torchères used for? In the days before electric light, candlepower was the main source of light. Giving less light than we are accustomed to today, candle-lighting had to be set in close proximity. Candlestands, which could be moved around a room as needed, would have been set with a candlestick or candelabra (if very large) thereby giving essential light to a particular area within a room or space. Dinner parties, dances, card games would all have been lit with the help of a torchère.

In the case of this pair of George II Rosewood Candlestands, which are relatively low in height at just 78cm, they are likely to have been used by one person in a more intimate space. Perhaps set at the elbow of their chair to give light to their reading, or even set next to their dressing table for when applying their deadly lead-based make-up, patches (to cover their pox scars) and ‘mouse’ brows – the Georgian equivalent of eyebrow art!