History of the chandelier
A chandelier (also: girandole or candelabra lamp) is a multi-armed candlestick or lamp with a decorative function that is attached to the ceiling. A chandelier was not just a functional piece of lighting. The use of a lot of crystal often also had to radiate wealth. As early as the 13th century, rock crystal was used to decorate chandeliers. Glass chandeliers were made in Italy from the 17th century. The Venetian chandeliers are especially famous. In the 18th century, chandeliers were decorated with rock crystal in Germany, Austria and France. This crystal was mined in the Alps. The crystal pieces were cut by hand in various shapes. Only in antique lamps you can still sometimes find this rock crystal.
The largest chandelier in the world is located in the Dolmabahce Palace in Turkey. In Paris, in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles, you can also admire some magnificent chandeliers.
On October 22, 1879, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. However, the light output of this was rather low. Only from 1911, through the use of tungsten wire, the light bulb was suitable for household use. Antique candle chandeliers have also been regularly converted and supplied with electricity. Often a small hole is drilled (for the cords) in the candle holder and the 'candle grease trap'. Many people think that chandeliers are older than they actually are. There are not many antique (at least 100 years old) electric chandeliers. Very old (not officially antique) copies, think 60-90 years old, are still reasonably available.
7 Types of Chandeliers
There are roughly 7 different models. Below they are described in more detail. Good to know: brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, bronze is an alloy of copper and tin.
Arms: brass or bronze. The icicles hang on this. Sometimes there are shorter arms between the (large) candle arms, which also have icicles hanging from them.
Middle part: one or more glass ornamental vases, interspersed with small ornamental arms from which cicles are hanging.
Candle grease catcher: brass, bronze or glass. Sometimes there are icicles on it.
Good for: a classic interior. From around 1920, French chandeliers with some Art Deco influences have also been made. Chandeliers with a tighter shape and with a chrome-plated or silver-coloured frame. These models fit well in a (modern) interior without copper and gold colours.
Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria in the 18th century, fell in love with Bohemian chandeliers. A new chandelier was delivered to her palace in 1746 and she was over the moon. Since then, this type of chandelier carries her name.
Arms: flat steel arms, finished with a gold colour, covered on both sides with glass strips, attached with glass rosettes. Piles hang from the arms.
Middle part: made up of one or more decorative vases.
Candle grease catcher: made of glass, icicles often hanging from it.
Looks good in: bright, light interiors The most original Maria Theresia models are open in the middle, with an extra light point or a glass pinnacle and a hanging sphere (ball).
This chandelier, also known as "sac à perle" in French, originated in the mid-18th century. Characteristic of this type is that the icicles or beads are strung into a bag shape on the underside of the lamp. Bead chains also run from the top of the lamp, the crown, to the ring to which the bag is mounted.
Arms: sometimes yes, then around the ring. And sometimes no arms
Middle part: strung strands of beads or icicles
Candle grease catcher: yes, made of glass (if there are arms on the lamp), icicles often hanging from it.
Looks good in: a hall. Since the introduction of electricity, bag crowns with only interior lighting have been made, without candlesticks on the ring. This type has a simple, sleek shape and shielded light. These are sought-after pocket chandeliers.
The Venetian chandelier is made almost entirely of glass.
Arms: made of curved glass, through which the wiring runs. Often also additional decorative arms of glass in upright, curved shapes. Ornamental arms in the form of flowers on a branch with leaves are common.
Candle grease trap: glass, usually hanging on it.
Good at: these lamps need some space to rise to their full potential. Sometimes there are also icicles on the top of the lamp. Furthermore, there are usually no icicles on these lamps. The glass is also often blown in various colours.
The ball chandelier (in English also: "Dutch chandelier") has been known since the 15th century and is especially popular in the Netherlands. This chandelier is made of copper, bronze or brass. Characteristic are the large ball at the bottom and the S-shaped arms. It is a chandelier without crystal or other expensive and fragile elements. This chandelier is common in churches. Due to its sober and recognizable shape, this chandelier fits in most interiors.
Arms: copper, bronze or brass. S-shaped arms
Middle part: Large ball, at the bottom. This sphere provides balance and extra brilliance.
Candle grease catcher: copper, bronze or brass, simple. From 1950, chrome and nickel-plated ball chandeliers were also made.
These fit amongst others well in: a kitchen with a lot of chrome.
A somewhat common name for chandeliers with a gilded metal frame, richly decorated with icicles (often coloured) and beaded chains. More playful, less formal than the French chandeliers.
Arms: gilded metal, richly decorated with (often coloured) icicles.
Middle part: gilded metal, can also be provided with cone and bead chains, often coloured.
Candle grease catcher: usually made of glass, with icicles, often coloured.
Looks good in: classic interior and also nice in a conservatory
The flower chandelier consists of a metal frame, the arms and structure of which consist of leaves and flowers. All kinds of colours are possible. Common combinations are white and green for the frame and yellow, red and pink for the flowers. There are also flower chandeliers made entirely in gold.
Arms: metal, colourful.
Middle part: metal frame, leaves and flowers (often roses), colourful.
Candle grease catcher: metal, colorful.
Looks good in: modern interior, children's rooms. The flowers can also be made of porcelain.
Restoration and Cleaning by LampLord.com
All our antique and unique lamps are: thoroughly cleaned and fully restored where necessary. Bad fittings have been replaced, checked and, if necessary, rewired. A chandelier is a true eyecatcher and must therefore be in a really good condition!
How do I Keep my Chandelier Nice and Clean?
All our lamps are well cleaned. As a result, maintenance is limited. You still want to enjoy a nice brush? the frame: dust with a duster, the icicles: damp chamois and soapy water with vinegar. Always pay close attention; water and electricity do not go well together! Always remove the power from the lamp before you brush!
The Purchase of an (Antique) Chandelier, What should I Pay Attention To?
A chandelier with a piece of chain and ceiling plate is easily 75 cm high. Do you want to be able to walk under the lamp? Then we recommend: a minimum ceiling height of 2.75 m. Do you want to hang the lamp above the table? Assume 1.60 m, measured from the floor to the lowest point of the lamp. A ceiling height of 2.40 m is then sufficient. A chandelier with a diameter between 40 - 75 cm is large enough for most interiors. Do you want a bigger chandelier? Then make sure that the lamp has enough space to get the best out of it. Also note: in a shop, the lamps look smaller than in your home. Often a smaller chandelier is just right.