Heave, ho, heave, ho...
Pulling new wire through the conduit has become fairly routine. We're all rather horrified at the state of some of the old cloth wire, and the sooner it gets replaced the better.
But we can't leave the old wire laying around for a minute, unless we want it chomped.
We've been coiling it up and putting it outside by the trash, where the tinkers come to collect it long before the garbage man does.
Now, a few weeks ago I mentioned our suspicions that there might once have been sconces above the fireplace.
Well, Ted and Seamus inspected the wall above the fireplace carefully...
Made some test drills...
And BINGO! We found the old electrical boxes.
(Now if only I could find that pesky hairbrush before the camera comes out.)
As before, these electrical boxes were stuffed with newspaper.
Only this time they yielded a precious clue! The Sears advertisement was announcing a sale for Friday, March 13, 1942; sixty-seven years ago to the day. We found it rather funny that we opened up the wall right before Friday the 13th last week.
So, it was less than twenty years after The Box House was built that someone decided to remove the sconces and plaster over the wall. (We had guessed late forties, so we weren't too far off.)
But I think I know what happened to the sconces.
Four of the six bedrooms in The Box House have sconce lights, two in the upstairs unit and two in the downstairs one. Two of those rooms, both upstairs, have rather simple (and rather heavily painted over) candle sconces. One of the bedrooms downstairs has sconces that are plain, and perhaps of more recent vintage. And then there are these in my mom's room (this is one of two):
Of course, with all the white paint slathered on them at the moment they're not looking their best. But the detail on them is of a knight on horseback trampling a dragon. My guess is that it's supposed to represent St. George. Anyway, they match our Medieval-style electric fireplace, original to the house. (Go here to see a video of the fireplace in action.)
I'm hoping there is a way to strip the paint off the sconces without destroying the polychrome finish, but we'll see. If not, I'll just have to repaint them and "antique" them to give the appearance of age.
However, those particular sconces won't be going back above the fireplace. Mom likes them in her room, and they've now been there far longer than they hung in the living room--if the date on the newspaper is a true indicator of when the sconces were removed, then before she was born!
Instead, we found another vintage set of sconces on eBay:
You can't tell from this photo, but the candle bulbs go behind the fancy grill work, which curves around them; they are going to cast amazing shadows on the walls, and I think they complement the shapes in the stained glass windows nicely.
We've pulled new wire through the conduit to replace the old...
...and now we're just waiting for the sconces to arrive!