South Germany, c. 1500 This bizarre creation originally had little candleholders attached to the antlers. Chandeliers made from wooden half-figures with elk antlers attached at their backs called “Lüstermännchen” or “Lüsterweibchen,” literally “little chandelier man” or “woman” were popular in Germany.
They hung in town meeting halls, inns, hunting lodges and domestic spaces. While the spreading forms of antlers may have suggested its use as a natural chandelier, the addition of a half figure is the kind of hybrid creation that appealed to the medieval taste for fantasy. The motif of a huntsman praying is unusual and may allude to the story of St. Hubert, a huntsman who came across a miraculous stag in the forest and fell on his knees before it in prayer.