1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sconce
SCONCE (Lat. absconsus, Fr. esconce), a word of many meanings, mostly signifying a covering or protection, or, by extension, that which is covered or protected. Its most familiar significance is that of a wall light, consisting of a metal bracket, with two or more socketed branches for candles. The word is also used for the orifice of a candlestick into which the candle is fixed, and for the rim of metal, glass or china, placed round a candle to intercept grease droppings. Among its obsolete meanings is that of head or skull. At the English universities “ to sconce ” is still used as the term for imposing a penalty at dinner in the shape of a quart-pot of beer or cider.