A candle snuffer

Contrary to popular belief, candle snuffers were not always for extinguishing the flame of a candle. Back in the 19th century wicks did not burn as they do now. They just got longer and longer which resulted in all sorts of problems. The candle got smoky and wax could melt faster than it burned, causing run off. This made a mess but was also waste and so was to be avoided. Candle snuffers were for removing excess wick.

This one is at Market Lavington Museum.

This 19th century candle snuffer belonged to the Hiscock family

This 19th century candle snuffer belonged to the Hiscock family

It is always good when we have the identity of the original users and in this case the snuffer belonged to the Hiscock family of Market Lavington High Street.

This is a view down onto the implement which has three little legs to act as a stand. The basic format is of a pair of scissors with an attached box. The idea was that you trimmed the wick and the piece cut off (the snuff) fell into the box, rather than onto a hearth rug, setting fire to it.

The pointed end could be used to stab fallen bits of wick, including any in the molten wax at the top of the candle.

This snuffer is thought to be late 19th century.


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