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Candle-stick mold

At Skógar Museum it is now Yuletide much like in the rest of the country. Because of that, the artifact of the week is no. R-6468, a candle-stick mold. It was made and owned by Loftur Þórðarson of Bakki and was gifted to the museum by his descendants. It is 27cm long and 2cm wide, closed at one end, made of iron, with the handle make of copper alloy. Candles in Iceland were made at home and from tallow, and most people would hand-dip them into tapered candle-sticks. The tallow was kept molten by pouring it into a vat of warm water, and the candle-threads dipped repeatedly until the candle was completed.
In the latter half of the 19th century, more people began owning candle molds or could borrow them from neighbors. More people started making candles in molds, although dipped candles continued to be made as well. When using candle molds, the thread would first be inserted and then the hot tallow poured inside and left to harden. Making candles was a part of the Christmas preparations. This is unsurprising considering Christmas takes place very close to the shortest day of the year, when the best we can hope for is four hours of sunlight. If you are used to modern electric lighting, candles don‘t appear to give a very strong light. Even so, they definitely gave a much brighter light than oil lamps, especially the cod-liver oil lamps of the time, Although tradition and conditions at each farm dictated how many candles each person received at Christmas, most people could depend on getting at least one.

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Guided tours are available upon reservation in English, German and Icelandic. Sometimes there is the opportunity to have guided tours in French, Spanish, Norwegian and Danish.

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