Introducing the brass section

Pair of Georgian antique brass candlesticks | H is for Home

We did a product review for Wayfair the other day in which we created an autumn table setting – all dark and dramatic – with shimmering metallics, fruit, berries, pine cones and so on. It was a pleasure to take the photos as we love this time of year (Justin prefers it to summer, actually). It got us in the mood for autumn pleasures. If the weather is kind, there are glorious autumn walks to be had amongst the turning leaves, inviting country pubs to rest in… and then hunkering down in a cosy house.

Detail of a pair of antique Georgian brass candlesticks | H is for Home

So what makes it feel cosy? How do we achieve our Pennine version of Hygge! Well, there’s the beloved wood burning stove to start with (now in both the lounge and a bedroom). Then all the little extras – woolly jumpers, thick socks, warm blankets, mugs of hot tea, fairy lights… and of course candles. We had them accessorising the aforementioned autumn table setting – and have them dotted around all over the house.

Nothing beats the twinkling light of real candles in the evening – and we’re often amazed at what bargains there are to be had in antique centres, charity shops and auctions when it comes to candle holders – in particular, vintage brass ones. The pair shown are a recent acquisition and demonstrate the point perfectly. A very sweet pair of small Georgian brass candlesticks – £12 in our local antiques centre.

Underside of an antique Georgian brass candlestick | H is for Home

We often see nice examples when we’re out and about. We love the mellow colour of antique brass – it’s got such warmth – and the way candle light shimmers on the reflective metal surface. The combination of brass (and other metallics such as copper and pewter) with the dark paint shades that are very much in vogue in home and restaurant interiors at the moment, looks really fabulous. The antique examples are such good quality too – they have good weight, craftsmanship and nice detailing to them.

Pair of antique Georgian brass candlesticks | H is for Home

And don’t worry about finding pairs. Some were made as single candle holders of course, but even if they were made as a pair and one’s missing its partner, just make a collection of the odd ones. The different shapes and heights look fabulous grouped together.

Three antique Georgian brass candlesticks with mid-century modern brass horse figure | H is for Home

So, here ends the promotional advert for the brass candle-holder association!! No not really – and we haven’t got a job lot of 500 brass candlesticks to sell either. We just thought it was worth highlighting the amazing bargains that are out there – and hopefully get you in the mood for autumn too!

Abelardo Ruiz

Vintage Abelardo Ruiz candle holder with cacti | H is for Home

We’ve welcomed a new young lady into our house this week. Adelle’s parents were having a re-decorate/clear out and offered us this vintage papier mâché candle holder that once belonged to her grandmother.

Vintage Abelardo Ruiz candle holder detail showing the face | H is for Home

It dates from the 1960s/70s and is the work of Mexican artist, Abelardo Ruiz. We wonder how it managed to find its way from Central America to a small little town in Surrey!

Vintage Abelardo Ruiz candle holder lying on its side | H is for Home

His girls are very distinctive with pretty big eyes and long lashes – quite similar in style to another favourite artist of ours, Lefor Openo.

Vintage Abelardo Ruiz candle holder detail showing the top | H is for Home

Her wide brimmed hat forms the candle holder, but she works simply as a decorative model or sculpture too. She’s very much at home in a mid century modern or vintage boho chic setting.

Vintage Abelardo Ruiz candle holder detail showing the signature on the base | H is for Home

Here are some more fabulous examples of Abelardo Ruiz work we’ve found online.

Abelardo Ruiz mosaic of papier mâché candle holders, clothes hangers and boxes | H is for Home
Additional image credits: Etsy | eBay | Worthpoint | k-bid | Antique Auctions Now | Live Auctioneers

Watts & Co church candles

'Watts & Co church candles' blog post banner

Watts & Co church candles in front of a wood-burning stove

Autumn has most definitely arrived – crisp, misty mornings; the red, russet & golden trees; long shadows and chilly nights. It’s a time for being outdoors, collecting acorns and conkers, kicking fallen leaves, watching migrating birds overhead – in fact, not much beats a long autumn dog walk, then returning home to a hot cuppa.

Vintage pottery candle holder on the arm of a leather club chair in front of a wood-burning stove

But perhaps what we love the most about autumn evenings is being indoors with fires crackling and candles glowing. We think of it as an opportunity to indulge rather than lamenting the end of summer. It’s a time to make the house warm & welcoming, to eat comforting food and revel in the magical nature of the season – making the ordinary & everyday a bit more extraordinary.

Lit Watts & Co church candle in a floor-standing cast iron candle holder

The Danish, who experience a long period of darkness and cold temperatures, have a special word for it – ‘Hygge‘ – pronounced hoo-gah – a difficult word to translate directly – we’ve read a few versions. Words like cosiness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness and living well are often used to describe the idea of hygge. It’s all about celebrating the small pleasures in life of which the home is an integral part – especially at this time of year. We’ll be spending much more time indoors in the coming months – and the shortening days means stocking up on the coal, logs and candles to facilitate our Hygge!

Watts & Co church candles and packaging

Watts & Co offered us some of their church candles to try, so of course we were very appreciative. A lovely selection arrived this week, beautifully wrapped in string & brown paper with elegant, lavender-coloured labels.

Watts & Co church candles packaging and label

Tradition and quality are the corner stones of this family-run company. Based in Westminster, they’ve been supplying ecclesiastical accessories since 1874.

Collection of Watts & Co church candles

Their candles are hand made in England using natural beeswax, which burns for almost twice as long as paraffin wax – and they’re a lovely cream colour rather than the stark white of cheaper candles. Beeswax also tends to burn more cleanly, without dripping or giving off smoke or soot – imparting a rich, warm glow to a room.

Lit Watts & Co church candles in an antique mirrored candle sconce

There’s something enchanting about fairy lights, the flames of real fires and flickering candles – they add such a magical atmosphere to the house. They soften hard surfaces such as stone with their glow – and nothing brings out the patina in wood like candlelight.

Lit Watts & Co church candle giving a warm glow to a stone wall

You just want to snuggle in, read a book, watch a film, eat nice food, drink a glass of wine… and generally slow down a bit.

Antique spiral candle holder with antique puzzle jug

We’ve got antique candle holders & sconces dotted all over the house. In fact, we never let a nice ones escape if we come across them at auction or markets these days. We’ve even started acquiring other candle related items such as storage boxes, match holders, snuffers and dowsers – so every room has items easy to hand.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles with antique candle dowsers

The holders all take different-sized candles; luckily, all can be found on the attractive Watts & Co website. Amongst the church supplies, you’ll also find other products that will suit domestic interiors – we’ll be trying some of their gorgeous incense for sure.

Lit Watts & Co pillar candle with church candles in an antique mahogany apothecary drawer

We’re prepared, stocked up and looking forward to autumn. It’s a glorious season and we love it!

[disclosure*]

Hostess with the mostest!

'Hostess with the mostest' blog post banner

vintage Hostess set comprising a floral apron and matching oven mitt | via @hisforhome

This fabulous set should help you in your quest to be the hostess with the mostest!

vintage Hostess set comprising a floral apron and matching oven mitt | via @hisforhome

Comprising kitchen apron & oven glove, there’ll certainly be no groovier attired rival vying for the title. It dates from the 1960s/70s and comes unused in the original packaging.

vintage blue Pifco 'Junior' fan vintage red Viking kitchen scales

vintage Poole Pottery Delphis pot vintage white enamel candle holder

It’s one of the new items we put in the H is for Home shop this week.

Gimme Five! Cast iron candle holders

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

selection of 5 cast iron candle holders

Last night, we had the fire in our den lit for the first time this autumn. We welcome autumn & winter in our house when they come around. Ours is a real cold weather, snuggle up with blankets and cushions and fairy lights kind of home!

At this time of year, at the end of each day, we love to retreat upstairs; and part of the evening’s routine involves getting the fire started and getting the tea lights and candles lit. We have a selection of tea light and candle holders dotted around the room – on tables, on the mantlepiece and crannies in the stone wall. The twinkly, flickering light the candles give is really relaxing and atmospheric. Welcome back autumn!

  1. 3-piece Eric Hoglund Boda wall sconce holders & candle holder: US $849.00, eBay
  2. Pair of vintage cast iron taper holders: £25, H is for Home
  3. Danish Modern hairpin cast iron candle holders: £26.43, Etsy
  4. Iittala Allas round single candleholder: £25, Amara
  5. Japanese cast iron candle stand ginkgo leaf: £22.52, Etsy

E is for… Enamel

'E is for... Enamel' blog post banner

Vintage chocolate brown enamel saucepan Vintage red, daisy-patterned enamel bowl Vintage Cathrineholm sky blue enamel saucepan

Antique orange enamel candle holder Vintage cream coloured enamel colander Vintage orange enamel bread bin

Vintage cream coloured enamel bread bin set of 3 vintage chocolate brown enamel saucepans Vintage yellow enamel coffee pot

We’re big fans of vintage enamel homewares. The process involves paint actually being baked onto metal, glass or ceramics. Used in all manner of household items, it’s practical, hard wearing and incorporates some fantastic colours & patterns.

Also, a bit of wear and tear is no bad thing – a few small chips and dents create a lovely, homely, lived-in patina – not usually the case with other materials such as pottery and glass.