This “Hopeless Romantic” is here to give you an update. I enjoy re-reading my over 300 tales of adventures – it is the memories. One of my favorites, that I posted exactly two years ago, is FLICKERING FLAMES OF A HOPELESS ROMANTIC – 3 DECEMBER 2017. Time for an update, give you a count of my Flickering Flames, and share the additions. Following showing you my “new treasures” is what I shared two years ago. And after that my comments from that post on “collecting memories and experiences.”

Candle Capitals* currently working at “44”
Porch – 21
Kitchen – 47
Dining Room – 34
Hallway – 6
Formal Living Room – 9
Informal Living Room – 14
Upstairs – 3
9 “CANDLES IN THE WINDOWS” – Battery and Automatic

*the capital is the part with the hole for the candle. Yes, each part of a candlestick or candelabra has a name.

In the gallery below (which you can click to open to larger views) are a few pieces I want to tell you about. Then you may share your new found knowledge at a cocktail party. But, first the story of each—

CANDLE MOLD – this specific six candle mold could have started this. When visiting my paternal grandmother I would go up in the attic and explore. Looking at this mold brought me back and back up those steep stairs in the old farmhouse. When she died in 1962, this became mine. Made from sheet tin.

CHAMBERSTICK – First saw one in an 18th century home in Historic Deerfield. Intrigued with the shape, the search was on. The large tray is to catch wax when walking from bed chamber to bed chamber. Lacking on mine is the snuffer which like a dunce cap sits in a slot on the handle. Mine has the requisite “push-up” but there is a second lever that I have not solved. Handsome brass. Found this earlier this year.

COURTING CANDLE – This was upstairs two years ago, I forgot about it. During a Red Lion Inn stay years ago I was in a remote New York village antique shop. Curious about this, of course, I asked. The lady told me the name. Used in colonial times, and into the early 1800s, a concerned father could lengthen or shorten the time a suitor spent visiting his daughter by adjusting the height of the candle. Once burned down to the top ring – Good Night.

HOG SCRAPER CANDLESTICK – Named because of the shape of the pan. Before cooking your pet pig or hog, a hog scraper would be used to scrape bristles from hide after slaughter. Not actually a dual use item – just the shape. Cathy and I saw this in an antique shop in Bantam, Connecticut, and was told its name – had to have it. Made of sheet metal.


New additions in the kitchen are in this gallery which you may also open:

The pair on the left window sill are in an Arts and Crafts style, and I found in a shop in Millerton, NY. Always a stop while at the RLI. The set on the right “spoke to me.” But also a bargain at $8 for the set. I had never driven north of downtown Concord before, and in a few miles there was the State Prison, and a sign to the inmate’s craft shop. RAY RECOMMENDS – visit the Prison shop – great items.

In this gallery are close-ups of my recent additions – more on the right hand image later.



The pair on the right I found in Turner Falls, Massachusetts in January, 2018. Had to buy them as the marble matches my countertops, and this set is now on the end of the array on my center island in the kitchen. Below is the new addition on the porch – two hand-made (by me) tin wall sconces. I crafted these at Old Sturbridge Village while I Boarded with the Bixbys in September, 2018.




and, in my “informal parlor,” absolute bliss and flickering light as I read in my wicker chair.

there are differences from the image below, to the one taken two years ago, and further down the post. Another Red Lion Inn in my collection, and nice brass single holder on the old stove, and a great red tree I found last year at Kringle Candle, and leave out along with the other tree – I love my collection of trees as you know.


And, below the post from exactly two years ago, albeit reworked as needed.

Two years ago, I had a paltry 115 “Flickering Flames.” Don’t ask how many matches it took to prepare this post. I have (at that moment) the following different candle holders and candles: Porch – 19; Kitchen area – 44; Dining Room – 28 – Formal Living Room – 9 – Informal Wicker Parlor – 9; Hallway – 6. READY?


Most everything that surrounds me evokes memories. See the RLI Millennium plates mounted above the mantle, my “book alikes” on the left of the hearth? All spark recollections. And the candles in the “sunburst?” A recent purchase in Manchester, Vermont (2017). A friend and I stopped in a high end consignment shop – nothing under $300 – except this metal holder that was but $17. Not the price, but it “spoke to me” – thus providing a “thing” to prompt the wonderful memories of that excursion and dinner out. Remember, these images are all a tad yellow – hey, after all they are candle light.

Now, above my sink

and, a close-up (yes, the pumpkin is an unlit candle)

On my “island.” The triple in the center is amazing. I walked into the Millerton (NY) Antique Center during a RLI trip, and there it was – $25 – no thought necessary (actually, if you “need it” price is not a consideration). I can walk you around the house and show you treasures from this shop. The glass pair came from the Frank Lloyd House gift shop during a Road Scholar trip in Buffalo, NY – just too perfect. I could not figure out the holders on the outer ends. Look like tree stumps, sorry, forget which shop (but think another trip to Millerton). The Christmas Tree candles in them? Well, just came from the Strawbery Banke gift shop during the trip weeks ago. and are “perfect” in the tree stumps. 2019 update – my “new” marble holders replaced the tree stumps which are now in the dining room.

The holder below really got me started. My first Road Scholar trip after loosing Cathy was experiencing the The Vanderbilts’ Great Camp Sagamore. That was before I started this travel blog. These bronze candleholders where on each table in the dining area, and I had to have them. About $100 each in the gift shop – I have two, one in each of the north big windows in the kitchen area. But, the memories — and the start of a conscious quest.

and, concluding the room.


Moving into the dining room, I have not yet set the table with my German Festive Red Christmas plates with green trees – soon. But, as you look around the dining room, I invite applications from diner guests (another “hopeless romantic” preferred) – I am becoming a good cook. Oh, the green glass candlesticks – made in Williamsburg, but I found at the Fort Stanwix National Park gift shop in Rome, NY, when heading to a program in Canada, October, 2011.

Gary and I were “filling in the map” one day near Cape Ann, and stopping in shops for things for his home. No luck for him, but I got this massive pillar candle holder – yes, it prompts memories of our day together.

not sure which shop the three green holders below came from, but the holder in the wine bottle (bottle from my stay at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield, NH) I purchased from a sutler at an event at the Fort at Number 4. Now, in the front the possibly faux pewter  candelabra is my “traveling” finery. Used during diners in front of “44” during concerts, and heading to the Fort at Number 4 for holiday meals – hey, no electricity there in 1750, and limited lighting.

and, on the outside wall

remember, diner applications considered.


I spend much of my time “working” and relaxing on my porch – almost four seasons depending if below 20 degrees.

See the Yule Log? In eighth grade I cut up birch logs, drilled holes in them, decorated with greens, made a trailer for my bicycle, and started pedaling. I lived in the country – half mile or more between houses. I later wrote an essay for English class, “You want to buy a Yule Log, Lady? $1 per hole.” Was successful, but I remember the house (not the lady’s name) who said, “you have an endangered species on your log – do not use that!” Memories !!!

moving around the porch – group of three cost (with four fascinating glass pieces) but $5 for 7 items a month ago at Colony Antiques. The cut stone pair on the window sill – Sugar Hill Sampler – Sugar Hill, NH – from a noted artisan.

Not really a candle, but a no thought needed purchase when found at a farm shop with the base in Massachusetts off Route 2. Of course, RLI wooden cut out below – recognize my room?

hallway – wall candelabra were Cathy’s — mirror was in the little colonial home I purchased in 1990 (BC – before Cathy – but after D)


this is my room that looks like a library, but there is not a real book on any shelf.  I was told years ago by a book seller friend that the best way to create value for a collection is write a book about it. Long “on the list” is to do a booklet on my book alike collection – something Cathy and I enjoyed building, and most pieces prompt memories of the purchase and what we were doing. Hard to find something new, but still looking — book to come someday.

and above the mantel – my painting is another whole story – the Oxbow on the Connecticut River – noted artist – more memories.


and, my informal “wicker” parlor on the south side of the front of the house.

above are two simple glass candle holders that a neighbor gave me a few years ago. the others in this room are Trench Art – made during WWI by soldiers utilizing spent case shells.



My first adventure after my first hip replacement (a year ago tomorrow – 4 December 2018 – ready for the next) I traveled in January, 2019, to Old Sturbridge Village to enjoy An Evening of Illumination.

The guide’s lanterns waiting at the Visitor Center – two for each group

There I learned  about The Chemical History of a Candle, a series of six lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames given in 1848. Bet you never thought about how a candle really works – I hadn’t.


and, here is how I started my post 3 December 2017. You may enjoy it still.

Many “forces” drive me to combine and share words. Earlier this week I reread an article “Remembering the Good old Days of Collecting Antiques,” and on the 2nd in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, I bought yet another candle holder, this of handcrafted pottery. Seems I buy candle holders and miniature Christmas trees when they inexplicably “speak to me.” I have no idea why.



Oh, another prompt was a friend introducing me to these LED battery operated candles. Years ago in the Connecticut shop we tried battery operated, and they lasted two days. Since then I have had electric candles in each front window, but bothered that candles have electric plugs on them. And, then one year when the electric rates escalated I kept them off, but in the windows.


Now I have these in the windows coming on and off all by themselves – and no cords. Check these out — I bought when on Amazon Prime


and, turning a tad around and to the north, I “have to look at this” so sad – NOT

A project “on my list” for years has been to document my treasures in words and images, and leave notes in each room so the kids do not put in a dumpster things they may not realize have value. But surrounding myself with “things” is not so bad because those things trigger pleasant memories. An article in the November 6, 2017, issue of Antique Week (I was a big advertiser in pre-internet days – selling about $1,000 in books each month) hits some of those key points. Here are some quotes to ponder from that article. These quotes mirror many thoughts and conclusions I have shared on how “things have changed.” In years past there were “antique rows” (and clustered book shops) “where dealers understood the concept of critical mass.” With “the advent of the internet … suddenly collecting became buying. And while the size of collections increased because of the expanded market, the fun started to drip, drip, drip away. … treasures that we never even knew existed are now just a few clicks away.  The world has become keystrokes away, and we delight as a child with packages arriving at the door.” Buying “the old fashioned way [we] remember the year we found a treasure … the name of the town where we found it … we recall on that day we added something stupendous to our collection.” With the internet “are we buyers? Are we accumulators? Or are we collectors?” (I invite you to read this article on my thoughts about collecting.)  Concluding the Antique Week article:

…longtime professional in the field … told me that we would best divest ourselves of our collections because our kids don’t want our stuff, just the money it might bring. But the romantic in me thinks that maybe we should hold on. In the end, what we really have is our memories. And, if our time on earth is brightened by a collection, well then, so be it.  The last three sentences are the KEY – I could not have said it better.

Remember – collect to have fun, collect for the memories, and if you like it – just buy it.

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  1. Carol Crolle says:

    Merry (almost) Christmas, Ray! I enjoyed reading the account of your treasured candle collection. You have such a passion for the objects but moreso for the precious memories they evoke. Love it! Carol from Chautauqua

  2. Carolyn says:

    Love the history and walk down memory lane. Quite a collection, lovely to see. Thank you, delightful.

  3. Betty says:

    The pictures in this post brought a warmth to my heart! Thanks for the lovely words and pictures!

  4. Pingback: CANDLES IN THE WINDOW – THE HISTORY BEHIND | The Walpole Clarion

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