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You know Christine, I wonder if they may be missing some parts? I'm thinking about two things: 1. Did these, (Weird little holes) actually hold something else? Something like a set of "Bobechas"? If these were designed with those, that may explain the weird holes, because those might fit into them somehow?
Or 2. What if these, like so many other Eastern European candlesticks actually did hold some type of oil or something, because another piece that rotated from heat fit above them? ( Have you ever seen the little wood angel ornaments/decorations with pinwheel or windmill type actions that move from candle heat?) My brain goes quicker than my typing I'm afraid, lol Hope that makes sense to you?
Vicki...I would go with number 1. That's a possibility. Number 2 I don't think would be possible because the wood would catch fire. Yes, I've seen those wood angel ornaments but I just don't think that's what it is...I could be wrong...after all I am the one asking for help..lol. Thanks for your help in trying to solve the purpose of the crazy candle holders.
I'm surprised no one here is old enough to have seen the Dansk candleholders made in the 60's and 70's. They made tiny candles for the candleholder, and were pretty readily available at places with imported goods. Here's a sample pic: there are tons more on the internet, see the size of the holes which looks like it is the same as yours. Yours aren't Dansk but made in Scandinavia where these 1/4" base tiny candles were a thing. Candleholders turn up a lot, but the candles are hard to find now. Maybe someone is reproducing ones that fit, I haven't looked.
It looks just like I envisioned it would look...and it looks dangerous! Why would you want so many candles in such a small space? Why wouldn't there be a drip tray, especially since the arms/holders aren't even level? Good show, Jeff, and Bonnie was correct.
But personally I do not understand how this could be popular...or so quick to catch on...fire! ;)
Thanks everyone for all your help. I guess those little candles go in there. I agree with Molly, I won't be putting candles in those holes. I also think it wouldn't be too smart to do it with it being a fire hazard although birthday candles may fit in those holes...I'll use it for someone's birthday and they can blow them out right away...just kidding. Thanks again.