Strictly speaking, a chandelier is any multi-branch ceiling light. But what we understand in popular usage as a chandelier today - a grand ceiling light fitting with many lights and multiple crystal prisms - is the result of a long evolutionary process of this type of light. Originally made in wood as a cross with spikes on which to fix the candles, they were able to be lowered for lighting, and then hoisted to a suitable height by means of a pulley. From the 15th century they were made in a wider variety of materials including brass, wrought iron, gilded wood and silver. By the 18th century, developments in glassmaking allowed for the introduction of prisms in their manufacture, because of their light scattering properties. An elaborate chandelier was a status symbol of the wealthy in the 18th and 19th century and materials now used included bronze and porcelain. Manufacturers of the crystal prisms included famous names in glassmaking such as Baccarat and Waterford. Prestigious English manufacturers of the time included Parker & Perry, of Fleet Street, F.& C. OSLER of London and Birmingham and Maydwell and Windle.
A fine French crystal chandelier, 19th century, a tiered basket style chandelier hung with crimped pear and bell shaped drops and rosettes and a crystal orb finial, with ten curvaceous and slender bronze arms with electrified candles. Height 80 cm. Diamete
A French brass and frosted glass chandelier, circa 1940s, the chandelier with a stem comprising a trio of brass cones and issuing six gently shaped tapering arms supporting conical cream frosted dishes embellished with gilded chevron and lattice patterns.
A French alabaster and glass chandelier, circa 1900, with a decorative triform chain to a richly mottled alabaster bowl in brown and caramel colours, issuing three small foliate and ribboned gilt bronze mounts supporting frosted floral glass shades. Height
A French brass and coloured glass chandelier, circa 1940s-50s, the chandelier with a conical ceiling cup to a tubular and reeded stem issuing five 'U' shaped arms with scrolled iron work motifs and supporting frosted dishes with blood red borders scattered
A gilded bronze French Regency chandelier, circa 1890, the urn form stem with scroll and cupid head embellishments to a stepped dish with palms and mascarons and a pine cone finial, issuing eight curvaceous arms with classical dishes and nozzles. Length 96
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