Monday, April 18, 2016

WINDOW ARCHES - SCHWIBBOGEN - FENSTERBOGEN - FENSTERLICHT - LICHTERBOGEN



Those who drive through a village or city in the German Ore Mountains during wintertime will see numerous ornamental candle holders equipped with electric lights.  The town of Seiffen is particularly noted for its production of window arches in its craft shops.   For more than 250 years these candle holders, called Window archs (Schwibbogen, Fensterlicht, Fensterbogen,or Lichterbogen), (German) have been part of the Christmas tradition in the Ore Mountains.  The first Window-arch was made around 1726 out of forged black sheet metal and it was lit by wax candles.  If one believes the traditional tales, the shape of the Window arch symbolizes the glowing miners lamps hung in a semi-circle at the entrance of their ore mines on Christmas Eve.  The Traditional Window-arch has always been designed in pleasing designs displaying a great number of subjects which are stylized and cut in genuine natural wood using a fretsaw.   The number of candles varies with the size of the  arch.  The original one featured 11.  The most famous design was created by Paula Jordan in 1937 for a show in Schwarzenberg.  It depicted the 3 main sources of income of the people in the region in the 18th and 19th century.   Thus the Schwibbogen showed apart from some traditional symbols: 2 miners, 1 wood carver, a bobbin lace maker, a Christmas tree, 2 miners hammers, 2 crossed swords, and an angel.  The candle holder was always associated with Christmas.  The light symbolizes the longing of the miners who didn’t see the daylight in winter for weeks sometimes due to their long working hours below the surface. We at ARTISANS BOUTIQUE present to you as a novelties, double sided Window Arches with internal lights as well as Christmas ornament arches. These products have certain flair because of the double or multi wood layers.  The integrated lights cause certain parts of the fretsaw work to be especially emphasized.  Many of our arch designs depict historical and religious scenes including skylines and landmarks.  Not only at Christmas time, but all through the year our products will bring a glowing romantic touch to your home. Gallery/Shop  
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