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Jože Štukl

A servant-shaped candlestick from the archaeological collection of the Škofja Loka Museum

Archaeological explorations that took place on the site of the abandoned Upper Tower on Krancelj Hill between 1954 and 1955 resulted in the discovery of a number of remarkable finds, including a bronze statue that was once part of a candlestick. In terms of motifs, this is a male figurine of a medieval servant that once stood on top of a tripod base with zoomorphic feet. The servant's hands supported two trays decorated in Gothic style and two candle holders on top of the trays. Only one of the trays has been preserved, while the candle holders have been lost.

This sort of candlesticks represented a special group of candlesticks during the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. They differ from a classical candlestick form and – in the spirit of the Renaissance – place a human figurine in the centre, which makes them a complete opposite of the earlier Romanesque candlesticks.

Within a wider European context, the discovered candlestick is not a rarity. Until some time ago, only a few such candlesticks were known; however, extensive research in recent years has resulted in thirty-four such candlesticks, which is most likely not the final number.

This particular candlestick, and all other candlesticks, are serial products cast in a mould – they are essentially identical candlesticks that differ from one another only in some minor details, which can be explained through the use of different moulds. They were made from brass or bronze through casting and became popular very quickly. The candlestick production centres were in Belgium, the Netherlands, and southern Germany. As such products were very popular at the time, they were sold all over Europe.

Photo: A partially preserved servant-shaped candlestick found in the Upper Tower on Krancelj Hill in Škofja Loka, late 14th century or early 15th century. Photo: A partially preserved servant-shaped candlestick found in the Upper Tower on Krancelj Hill in Škofja Loka, late 14th century or early 15th century.