A mid-16th Century antique oak Tenebrae candelabra.
French, Circa 1550.
The triangular-shaped candlestand with ten iron prickets, supported on a faceted pillar flanked by four shaped ‘buttresses’ on a cruciform base, 91cm wide, 103cm high.
Tenebrae (Latin for “darkness”) is a religious service of Western Christianity held during the three days preceeding Easter Day and characterized by the gradual extinguishing of candles, and by a “strepitus” (Latin for “great noise”), made by slamming a book shut, banging a hymnal or breviary against the pew, or stomping on the floor, which takes place in total darkness near the end of the service. It symbolizes the earthquake that followed Christ’s death, although it may have originated as a simple signal to depart.
Tenebrae was originally a celebration of Matins and Lauds of the last three days of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) in the evening of the previous day (Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) to the accompaniment of special ceremonies that included the display of lighted candles on triangular candelabra.
Provenance – Ex Simonini collection
Condition – As per the images. Surface wear and oxidation to the iron work is commensurate with age. A further detailed condition report is available upon request.
Size: Height 103 cm x Width 93 cm (40 1/2″ x 36 5/8″)
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