Antique Lighting FixturesAntique lighting fixtures were not always, of course, antiques. When they were first created they were in fact considered to be the height of modernity. For example, the first chandeliers used in the Middle Ages were wooden crosses that were suspended from a hook in the ceiling. On the end of the cross there were spikes to stick the candles on. The examples of such lights, which were very basic, that have survived down to this day are now very rare antique lighting fixtures.
(Antique Lighting - Medieval Chandelier)
From the 15th century, chandeliers with a ring or crown as a basic design started to become popular. This form of antique lighting was used in castles and churches, in the homes of the nobles, and even in the homes of rich merchants. A well-lit house with fine lighting fixtures was a sign of status.
At the beginning of the 18th century, antique chandeliers in gilded wood could be found in the homes of most rich merchants. Later, wrought iron, brass or bronze was used; it was then gilded to make it more stylish. Motifs in cast iron and also in carved gilded wood became increasingly popular. So antique lighting fixtures are often gilded but there are also silver-plated ones that give the light a more masculine and sober aspect and sit better in modern settings.
With crystal chandeliers, people are looking for transparency in lighting. Glassmakers attempted to imitate the transparency and limpidity of crystal. This kind of lighting fixture was first made at the beginning of the 17th Century in Italy. But later that century, in France, glass makers used to hang prisms onto them to project prismatic colours when lit. These chandeliers would become famous worldwide and came to be looked upon as templates for replicas of original pieces.
(Antique Lighting - Chandelier)
One famous crystal chandelier that Queen Victoria gave as a gift, is the largest Bohemia crystal chandelier in the world. It is in the Dolmabahçe Place in Turkey. It weighs more than 4 tons and has 750 lamps. Another famous crystal chandelier is the one in the Opera Garnier that crashed on the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera the novel written by Gaston Leroux.
Of course a lot of these original antique lighting fixtures that still exist have been electrified for convenience. And today they are used more as decorations than for the lighting itself - and are highly sought after by collectors of antique lighting fixtures.
antique lighting antique lighting fixtures