In the Middle Ages, antique lighting took the form of heavy chandeliers, which were used mainly in churches, then later on in wealthy houses.
(Antique Lighting - Oil Lamp )
In the beginning of the 15th Century, burning candles in chandeliers was so widespread that we now find a lot of antique lighting designs dating back to that period. These designs become more refined in the 17th Century when the use of silver and pewter became quite commonplace.
During the 19th Century, paraffin started to be used in lighting. Paraffin is lighter than oil, so a wick could be used, which produced better light. Each new discovery served to improve lighting, but it is only with the improvement of the mantle that the use of gas as a means of providing lighting took off.
In Victorian times, gas fitting was the most modern lighting form for the time, and the rise and fall gasolier was one of the most modern devices. It could be installed near the ceiling when it was not used and then lowered when required
In the last years of Victoria’s reign only very well-to-do houses had electric lighting, for the majority of people, the advent of electric lighting started at the beginning of the 20th century. The increased brightness of the electric bulb and its ability to light the room from any angle, gave it a great advantage compared to gas lighting.
The polyvalence of electric lighting allowed a great many designs of fittings. This had not been possible before. Lighting fixtures were now available to everyone.
(Antique Lighting - Chandelier)
Over the last ten years, antique lighting fixtures and antique lights have quadrupled in value but there are a lot of antique lighting fixture reproductions on the market that have little value. Using these lighting fixtures depends on their intended utilization. If the aim is to complete an antique setting or to match the quantities required, for instance in a hotel, reproductions could be the most appropriate solution. Nowadays, new lighting fixtures can be distressed to make them look like an original antique lighting fixture.
However in an original period setting, reproduction lighting fixtures will look out of place, so it is much better to choose an original type of antique lighting if at all possible.