COUNTRY STANDS - Candlestands
as candlestands today, small tables supported by a pedestal,
or pillar - and usually a tripod base-originally were used for
many purposes, including serving tea, writing letters, and
Such stands were made
continually from the 17th century until the mid -19th century
and display the characteristics of the various popular
furniture styles. The turned legs of the William and Mary
period, for example, evolved into the cabriole legs of the
Queen Anne and Chippendale periods, and eventually became the
simple tapered legs of the Federal period.
Although stands were
meant to be practical and were certainly not the most
important pieces of furniture in a house, care was often
lavished on their design.
The shape and
decoration of the tops also add interest to these small
stands. Circular and square tops are the most common, but
oval, octagonal, and rectangular forms were also made.
Tilt-top stands, which
had flip tops and could easily be placed out of the way in a
comer, were a very popular type. Usually the top could simply
I flip up and down, but on fancy examples, the pedestal passed
through a "birdcage," or columned block, that
allowed the top to pivot as well as tilt.