Sometimes we’d light the sconce on the wall outside the kitchen. It is a sinister creation: a disembodied arm emerges from a wrought iron picture frame, extending a candle. It was left by a previous occupant; we would almost certainly not have bought such a grotesque artifact; yet we left it hanging there, and often lit it.
From The Lantern
Much of what I describe in this novel is real. The hamlet on the hill and the surrounding landscapes are as true to life as I can write them, as are the stone arches outside and the little alley way. Even the “gifts from the house”: the painting of a lily, the old boots and tools, the ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, are objects we really did find waiting for us. But not everything.
This creepy-looking antique wall candleholder was only ever a picture in a book, but it was so perfect for the background atmosphere in the story that I took it and hung it on the wall, so to speak. It comes from Provence Style, edited by Angelika Taschen, and the photograph is by Guy Hervais. The red wall is cleverly painted as a trompe l’oeil of a heavy curtain.
Books of photographs must be some of the most enjoyable research resources, and this one proved an unexpected winner, providing many potent objects to accentuate a mounting sense of unease.