When I was a new bride in 1974, I knew what a sconce was. At the height of the Early American decorating trend, a sconce was a wooden candleholder that hung on the wall, usually in matched pairs on either side of a large landscape print over the sofa. I found these while working on the Garage of Doom yesterday (pardon the dust). You’ll have to imagine them with candles (I don’t have any that fit):
Elle Decor’s September 2016 issue featured an article about the world’s most beautiful sconces. Not one of them looked like those above. So I referred to Etsy, my go-to site for everything artsy. The photos on this page are all from my Etsy search. Most of the sconces pictured are either hand-made or vintage.
Apparently, sconces are not just for candles anymore. They are also any lighting fixture that hangs on the wall. (In fact, when I looked for sconces online on Etsy.com, I also found wall-mounted vases and shelf brackets listed in the sconce category. I find that way too disorienting, so I chose not to show any for the purpose of this article.)
To be sure, there still are candle sconces to be found. (You can click on the smaller pictures below to enlarge them. To find purchasing information, click on the descriptions under the pictures. A couple have been sold since I first collected the pictures, but the links will take you to even more sconces.)
Vintage French Sconces
Modern Candle Sconces
Turquoise Glass Sconce
Vintage French White Sconces. Modern Candle Sconces. Turquoise Glass Sconce.
And even in the mid-20th century there were electrical sconces. (Maybe they weren’t called sconces then. I don’t remember.)
Filigree Double Sconce
Cut Glass Double Sconce
Danish “Modern” Sconces
Plexiglas Sconces. Filigree Double Sconce. Glass Double Sconce. Danish Modern Sconces.
Nowadays, sconce makers use Mason jars as light fixtures to make sconces look “rustic.”
Pair with mirror.
Single Jar. Pair pictured with mirror. Hanging Jars.
Or they employ Edison bulbs for the “industrial” look.
Adjustable Hanging Sconce
Wire Cage Sconce
Adjustable Hanging Sconce. Wire Cage Sconce. Upward Bulb Sconce.
And these Steampunk-inspired sconces take industrial to the next level.
Double Steampunk Sconce
Multi-bulb Steampunk Sconce
Double Steampunk Sconce. Multi-bulb Sconce.
And look at these exquisite modern sconces.
Modern White Sconce.
Deathly Hallows Sconce.
Flower Sconce. Modern White Sconce. Black Sconce. Deathly Hallows Sconce.
My favorites are the Multi-bulb Steampunk, the Flowers, and the Deathly Hallows (okay, I admit it–I’m a Harry Potter fan). What about you? Which ones do you like? Do you own any sconces? Do you remember the “Early American” furniture and accessories? Share in the comments below.