This beautifully crafted piece of early lighting equipment, known as a 'Sticking Tommy', was used by men working the mines. A simple and elegant solution to hands-free lighting, the spike was pounded into a timber or the substrate of the rock, a candle inserted, and voila!... you'd be ready to load your 16 tons... whew, I get tired, not to mention claustrophobic, just thinking about it.
There are probably as many variations of the Sticking Tommy as there were early blacksmiths; this particular piece is rare and unusual in that the hook is mounted with a "Y" shaped base, an extra bit of work which made it more stable when hanging and stronger overall. And with the exception of the hook, this entire piece including the adjustable candle cup is created from one piece of iron. Notice on the bottom view of the candle cup how the stock was tapered into a thinner sheet to form the cup. The spike has a graceful taper, and the surface is original and untouched.
Condition is just what you would hope. Measures 11 1/8" long, and 3 1/2" to the top of the hook when it sits on a flat surface. Probably 18th C, but might also be an example from the first half of the 19th C.
A very nice piece of early iron for a collection, I haven't been able to find another with the "Y" shaped hook mount. I think you'll be well pleased, it's a beautifully crafted example of early lighting.