Between 1200 and 1300
Museum No. 1595-1855
This bronze candlestick has been produced in the form of an elephant carrying a castle. The crenellated top of the castle tower contains the spike on which the candle would have been placed. To the modern viewer the body of the creature most closely resembles a horse, rather than an elephant. The latter would, after all, have been a much more exotic and less familiar creature to the maker. Exotic and fantastic creatures were frequently depicted in medieval and Renaissance art, and some real ones, like lions and polar bears, were kept in the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London.