Alexander Ritchie brass candle sconce
A large brass candle sconce attributed to Alexander Ritchie, circa 1905.
A rather special and, I believe, quite rare piece of metalwork that I am confident comes from the workshops of Alexander Ritchie on Iona. The sconce is quite substantial and has two candle holders. The back-plate has a design for a celtic cross surrounded by a repeating leaf pattern in repousse. The base of the sconce has scrolled edges on either side, typical of those used on many of the early Ritchie sconces.
This is the only example of this particular sconce design that I have been able to find to date. The central cross design does appear on similar sconces in an image of the Nunnery shop run by the Ritchies on Iona from around 1900 (Iona Celtic Art – E. Mairi MacArthur, page 27). It also appears on a brass box on the Alexander Ritchie tribute website where it states that the design was from an early Iona stone carving. The repeating leaf design is not one I have seen on any other Ritchie pieces but eventually I found a match on a wooden framed mirror the Ritchie’s had above their fireplace (Iona Celtic Art – E. Mairi MacArthur, page 60).
A rare and stunning piece which displays beautifully. It has some minor condition issues but nothing that detracts from the piece when it is hung on a wall.
Dimensions: 18″ tall 14″ at widest point and 5 1/2″ deep
Condition: Very minor scratch marks. What looks to be a fairly recent solder repair under one edge of the base. The back ends of the scrolled edges are misshapen. Very small tears on each side where the back plate meets the base.