Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Are Courting Candles

The use of courting candles dates back to the 1600s when fathers used them to set time limits for when potential suitors came to visit their daughters. The male caller knew that when the candle melted down to the metal holder it was time to go and he would promptly leave. Courting candles were used for this purpose through the 1800s and are currently used for d cor and conversational pieces.

Historic Use

When a suitor arrived, the father would raise or lower the candle in the holder setting a specific amount of time the two had to visit. If the dad liked the boy or he was from a wealthy family, he generally gave more time to visit. However, if he did not like the boy, he could limit the time by lowering the candle in the holder. The father could also add a second candle or snuff it out depending on how he felt the courtship was going.


The courting candle is a spiral, coil-like candle holder that is made out of wrought iron. Inside the spiral of the holder is a wood, or other material, block that can be moved up or down within the coil design. Some courting candle holders are made to hang on the wall in the seating area where the courtship occurred. Others are made with a base so it can be set on a table in the room where the potential suitor could see how much time he had left to visit.


Candles used in the courtship candle holder are five inch utility candles that fit within the spiral design. The bottom of the candle is flat so it fits on the surface of the moveable block and does not tip or lean when being burned. Utility candles generally come in white or ivory, but can be found in some other colors if being used for decoration.


Place the utility candle inside the spiral portion of the courtship candle holder. If hung on the wall, make sure it is hung flat up against the wall with a sturdy nail or screw. If using one on a table top, make sure it sits flat and will not tip over when burning. Move the candle up or down in the holder by rotating the block through the slats of the coil candle holder. Before lighting the candle make sure there are no curtains or other flammable materials nearby.

Tags: candle holder, make sure, courting candle, courtship candle, courtship candle holder, time visit