National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Tole Candle Wall Bracket Tole Candle Wall Bracket
Rendered by David S. De Vault (artist), c. 1940
watercolor, graphite, and goauche on paperboard
overall: 28 x 37.5 cm (11 x 14 3/4 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Metalwork from the Index of American Design
Object 6 of 17

Because England restricted the importation of raw tin into the colonies, tinware was scarce in America before the Revolution. By the nineteenth century, however, tin was plentiful and in great demand for a variety of household articles. Lighting devices were commonly made of tinplate. The lightness of the metal allowed sconces to be hung from the wall or chandeliers from the ceiling. The flexibility of the material allowed craftsmen to fashion decorative shapes. This chandelier, made in the 1830s, was constructed of sheet tin. The barrel-shaped body provides a central core from which six arms extend outward to terminate in candleholders. The S-curves of the arms serve to diffuse the light away from the center while providing a decorative aspect to the chandelier's form. Ribbed bands around the body of the chandelier and ribs extending along the arms suggest a linear pattern that is emphasized by the fluting of the candleholders. The simplicity of this linear pattern and the round forms of the central body and candleholders provide a unified and pleasing sound.

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