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Happy Diwali! The Hindu festival of light is this week, and since my daily commute takes me right through the east end Toronto neighbourhood known as Little India, it is top of mind for me. I believe the traditions of Diwali are more centered around lamp light and firecrackers, but when I think “festival of light” I think candles! I’ve developed a bit of a crush on modernist candleholders lately and this time of Diwali and longer nights seems exactly the right moment to share some favourites.

I fell in love with this beauty at Hollace Cluny last week. I love barely there design and the Precious candleholder from Georg Jensen is exactly that. Just enough of a candleholder and not too much. I recognized it immediately as the work of one of my favourite designers, Ilse Crawford. (And I added it to my list for Santa).

With visions of the Precious dancing in my head I happened upon this little treasure at the VV (Value Village to the uninitiated) just yesterday. Isn't that a coincidence? This holder looks as if it could be the piece Ilse Crawfrod was trying to redesign when she came up with her idea. It came home with me for $3. I hope some day these two can sit side-by-side, as if having a little conversation about the essentials of a brass candleholder.

Here are some more barely there designs I love.

This elegant pair is from the 1940s by Swedish designer Lotta Horn. The mid-century Scandinavians are the masters of the minimal candlestick. Keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and antique shops. Pieces like this turn up and are often underappreciated (meaning: cheap).

And no appreciation of Scandinavian design is complete without a little something from IKEA. This set of three Näsvis candlesticks sells for $5 and also comes in red or white. I would buy several sets, mixing either the black and white or the red and white. I'd love to see them in a mass cluster down the centre of a table or across a mantel with some cedar boughs woven along their bases. Magic.

And speaking of IKEA, this one (Bjorkefall) is no longer on their web site but I definitely saw it in store a week or so ago. The design is from 2009 and it is/was available in matte black or white ceramic. I bought a pair of each. They are so Shaker in their perfection.

Be still my heart, these are the Ted Muehling Biedermeier Egg and Dart Candlesticks. The story of their design and manufacture is fascinating and only adds to their allure; read all about it at the E.R. Butler & Co. web site. They are available in 19 different shapes and sizes and in oxidized bronze (shown), satin silver, polished silver or gold plated finish. The egg also comes in robin’s egg blue or agate. Each candlestick sells for about $1,000!

These ones by Michael Guy are spectacular and the artist has a whole gallery of additional shapes to see on his web site. I can't help thinking if you found a particularly artistic plumber he might be able to fashion you some out of copper pipe. Hmm.

And finally the amazing work of Lindsey Adelman. These little brass spikes are called Nick and the Candlestick and are inspired by a Sylvia Plath poem of the same name. The set of nine comes with a walnut tray for $1,905. Stunning.

Find our Diwali menu here.

Photo credits:

1.&2. Margot Austin
3. Freak Hansen
4. IKEA
5. Margot Austin
6. Ted Muehling
7. Michael Guy
8 & 9. Matter Matters

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