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Hi,

しかし、ハリーの気を引いたのは、むしろ机の上にあるルーン文字や記号が刻まれた石の水盆で、蝋燭の光溜の中に置かれていた。

The grammatical structure of this puzzles me. It looks to me as if で is the -て form of the copula, and if the sentence ended there with だ (or だった) I would be happy. However it doesn't, and I don't see how the 水盆 can grammatically be both the complement in the first part and the subject of 置かれていた in the second part, as it appears to be. What's going on here?
 
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Toritoribe

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水盆で、(それは)蝋燭の光溜の中に置かれていた is my interpretation.
 
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