x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Candle holder

Object of desire Made in Lebanon, it's a wonderful combination of raw and fragile, ancient and timeless.


With the sunlight streaming through the window behind it and turning its glass baubles into glowing jewels, the first time I set eyes on this candle holder was a total coup de foudre. Made in Lebanon by artisans who keep alive a glass-blowing tradition that is more than 2,000 years old, it's a wonderful combination of raw and fragile, ancient and timeless. And, for all the skill and seriousness of its provenance, it's truly a fun piece.

Despite its one-metre height and rough-tough wrought iron frame, it is remarkably delicate, seeming to be made of air, colour and little else. And what colours: limpid and pure, the greens and soft yellow seem almost alive. That's at least partly due to the tiny gas bubbles that remain in the glass (a style of mouth-blown glass that I first developed a passion for in the late 1970s when I lived virtually next door to the Verrerie de Biot in the South of France) and the slightly "crackled" surface finish.

Above all, I love the fact that there are people with enough vision to support the old craft workshops and enough style to give the designs a contemporary twist. I secretly almost hope that nobody buys it, so that I can keep going back to O'de Rose to "visit" it. Although when it does sell it can be only good news for the artisans, since it will mean another order. Not for the same piece, mind you, since every one is unique. But something similar - and every bit as beautiful.

Dh2,800 at O'de Rose, 999 Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai; 04 348 7990