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What do you call the thing that holds a torch? They're used a lot in old movies. They're fixed on walls and used for holding the fire (torch).

Here's an image of what I'm talking about but it's not quite the same as the one used for holding the torch:

The thing that holds torch/light

Here's the torch I'm referring to:

enter image description here

What's the name of the thing that is fixed on a wall and holds this torch?

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  • 31
    A cage. In this case a Nicholas cage. Jul 20, 2020 at 10:20
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    As a more general term you could call it a bracket (perhaps torch bracket.)
    – Artelius
    Jul 20, 2020 at 11:26

3 Answers 3

74

It is called a sconce. Lexico says

sconce
NOUN

1 A candle holder that is attached to a wall with an ornamental bracket.

Here is a picture of one.

enter image description here

Image from pinterest.com

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  • 9
    I think, technically, it's a cgi rendering, rather than a picture. Jul 18, 2020 at 19:06
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    @Acccumulation I think, technically, a CGI rendering is a picture, though you could say it is not a photograph.
    – David K
    Jul 18, 2020 at 19:15
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    @WeatherVane But maybe a photograph of a real sconce? Jul 18, 2020 at 23:17
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    @jamesqf a cresset is a fire cup or basket, not a torch holder. It contains the fire itself. Jul 19, 2020 at 7:23
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    So to summarise, a sconce is a mounted bracket for a candle or torch, a cresset is such a bracket that holds the burning material directly, and a brazier also holds fuel directly, but is freestanding or hanging.
    – Jon Purdy
    Jul 19, 2020 at 22:04
16

It's a sconce:

[Merriam-Webster]
1 : a bracket candlestick or group of candlesticks
also : an electric light fixture patterned on a candle sconce

Thanks to some comments, and after rereading the question, the second picture in the question is simply showing an example of torches that would have been pulled out of sconces in the wall.

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    I wonder if there is a separate word for the hand-held version. A sconce sounds very much much like a bracket to me. It is the fixture in which the torch is esconced Jul 18, 2020 at 11:56
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    I thought the second picture was just an example of the sort of torch the OP had in mind, which could be placed into a sconce on the wall. Characters in that sort of movie often pull a torch out of a (wall) sconce to carry into a tunnel or whatever.
    – nnnnnn
    Jul 18, 2020 at 13:20
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    @nnnnnn I'm sure that you are correct. If you want a fancier word for the torch it can be called a flambeau. The Merriam Webster entry behind the link defines it as "flaming torch". Calling it a "flambeau" has the advantage in BrEng that it distinguishes it from the modern electric torch which is more commonly called a "flashlight" in the US.
    – BoldBen
    Jul 18, 2020 at 19:30
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    @TripeHound Very true, but I think Chesterton probably knew that a flambeau was a torch, not only that but Fr Brown turned him round and made him a detective. An interesting aside is that the ballad Six Dukes Went A fishing describes a funeral with noblemen in attendance and the lines "Black was their mourning, And white were the wands, And so yellow were the flamboys, That they carried in their hands" flamboys being another word for flambeaux.
    – BoldBen
    Jul 19, 2020 at 14:27
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    @boldben This is a good answer, but the comment thread lacks flare...
    – Conrado
    Jul 20, 2020 at 3:46
5

As others have noted, sconce is more common, and more specifically referring to something holding a long piece of wood.

However, a cresset can also be used to hold a torch. But it more commonly holds either liquid flammables or pieces of loose wood or coals.

cresset

in American English

(ˈkrɛsɪt )

NOUN

a metal container for burning oil, wood, etc., fastened as to a pole or wall and used as a torch or lantern

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/cresset

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    As noted in the comments to WeatherVanes answer, and as described in the text you quoted, the cresset is a thing that can be held by a sconce. From there it may be and taken and carried a portable light source, as shown in the OP's second image.
    – Grump
    Jul 20, 2020 at 8:44

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