The monsters featured on these candles were once perceived as prodigies; warnings from God that could foretell ominous occurrences or good fortune.
In a similar fashion, Tarot cards have been historically used as a means of divining the future and the meaning behind it.
These candles are designed in a tarot-card style as a reminder of the prevalence the supernatural once had in attempting to understand medical abnormalities.
Each monster is pictured with the year its birth was recorded. A description of the Monster of Ravenna is below.
Candles are unscented, made with vegetable & paraffin wax, and measure 6" in height.
"We had heard that a monster had been born at Ravenna, of which a drawing was sent here; it had a horn on its head, straight up like a sword, and instead of arms it had two wings like a bat's, and te height of its breasts it had a fio [a Y-shaped mark] on one side and a cross on the other, and lower down at the waist, two serpents, and it was a hermaphrodite, and on the right knee it had an eye, and its left foot was like an eagle..."
The Diary of Lucca Landucci, Apothecary
March 1512, Florence