Antique French rustic metal candle holder


Shipping to United States: $40.13


A simple spiralling metal candle holder with a wooden base, with a shaped handle on one side which is usually called a 'rats tail'.

The piece is made from shaped metal, probably iron, and there is a good aged rusty patina. This design has its origins in medieval tallow holders and I think this piece is probably eighteenth century, although it is not possible to date them precisely.

The item would have been made in a blacksmiths workshop, forged from a piece of iron twisted into a spiral or corkscrew shape, and with a pointed stave at each end. The top was flicked out to make a primitive handle, colloquially known as a rats tail, and this example has a groove in the centre in a nod to simple decoration. The bottom point was driven into a turned wooden base, and hammered over into a staple to keep the spiral upright.
The base is made from a turned piece of old timber which is dry and cracked with a smattering of old, long dead worm holes. The finish has been made to simulate ebony, probably by washing it over with soot.
These items were commonly used in French wine cellars, and the hook could be used to hang the light over the caskets while working.
Size approx h17.5cm, diameter of base 9cm, aperture approx 2.5cm suitable for a standard dinner candle.

We are able to post out parcels from Metropolitan France and shipping fees are shown. Please allow plenty of transit time, as European post is notoriously slow!

*Please note that most deliveries within France and some other European Union countries are usually made to a Pont Relais collection point, there are usually a number of these located in shops and supermarkets in each town, and you will be given the opportunity to specify which one you prefer if this service is available for your location. Otherwise I will select the shop with the longest opening hours within your area. If you would prefer La Poste domestic delivery PLEASE ASK for a quote.
Deliveries to most other European destinations are generally to your doorstep unless it is much cheaper to use Pont Relais.
Outside of Europe we use La Poste International parcel service.
The sales tax is included in any sales so there should be nothing extra due to pay when your parcel arrives, subject to customs clearance. *The customer is responsible for any import duties incurred for an item. We will require a PHONE NUMBER to add to the customs forms, to help prevent any delays or transit problems. If you refuse delivery of an item due to customs costs, please be aware that your parcel's postage costs will be forfeit, although we are happy to refund the item purchase price upon return.

Our items are carefully selected antique and vintage pieces from France and they show the character and charm of years of use. We do not sell new or reproduction items so you can expect to find signs of the age and life that the piece has led. We believe this history adds to the story of an item. Obvious damage and faults will always be mentioned in our descriptions but minor age-related condition issues are not considered a detriment.

Shipping & Policies

Shipping from France

Processing time

3-5 business days

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns

Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery

I don't accept exchanges or cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.


Reviews (1)


Legal imprint