Ever since the first chandelier was designed for Frederick, Emperor of Germany in the 12th century, the chandelier has been seen as a symbol of riches and status. Nowadays, thanks to the introduction of light, modern materials and the development of electrical lighting, it has become accessible to many of us. Many of us still love antiques and period furnishings, and a period chandelier offers us a wonderful way of lighting our homes, whilst referencing our favourite points in history.
What are antique chandeliers and vintage chandeliers? These are usually collectors’ pieces which are no longer in production, and are usually seen as high-quality items.
Where can you find them, and are there modern equivalents? Are there benefits to buying a modern equivalent to vintage chandeliers?
There are many internet sites offering antique and vintage chandeliers. These chandeliers will have been restored and rewired, and will be one-off pieces. At Italian Lighting Centre, however, we are offering you a superb range of wonderful chandeliers based on period designs. The advantages are that you can generally choose your colour and metal finish, order two or more at a time, and buy matching products. Replacement parts are easy to obtain as well.
So when a client asks us for a vintage chandelier or antique chandelier , we will therefore show him or her a number of new chandeliers in a number of period styles,depending on the look they want to achieve.
A good starting point would be medieval style chandeliers, which are almost always made from iron and similar metals, although we can also offer some with wooden parts.
Then we move on to early crystal and glass chandeliers. Crystal and glass chandeliers as we know them today date back to the 1600s, and many are inspired on the first Maria Therese chandeliers. Crystal chandeliers were first produced in Italy in the 17thcentury. Building on this glorious but recent tradition, a new type of chandelier was designed in 1743 for the coronation of the Holy Roman Empress, Maria Therese of the House of Hapsburg, as Queen of Bohemia. The style was characterized by its opulence, heavy ornamentation, and exquisite detailing. The chandelier would be dripping with Bohemian crystals, beads, and pendants, and was destined for palatial surroundings with very high ceilings.
Today’s versions of the Maria Therese chandelier, are mostly made for grand buildings and residences all over the world, and will be decorated with a wide range of crystals, including Swarovski crystals. However, we can also offer you much smaller sizes for your home. As well as a large variety of Maria Therese style chandeliers, we can offer you table lamps, floor lamps, and wall lights. This particular ceiling light measures over a metre in width but under half a metre in height, but with its glittering Austrian crystals, offers you a taste of this extravagant and very luxurious style in a manageable size.
We would also suggest that we look at our rococo and baroque style chandeliers if you are looking for antique brass chandeliers. They generally have ornate and decorative cast brass frames, often plated with gold, and are hugely popular. If you’d like to know the difference, baroque styling tends to be a little more robust than the delicate baroque form.
We can offer you Empire chandeliers too, which are traditional and elaborate in design. The style dates back to the Napoleonic period of French history, and was a backlash to the traditional chandeliers constructed for the French kings and queens. In consequence, this style of lighting is often referred to as “regency”. These large chandeliers are perfect for showcasing important rooms such as hotel foyers, theatres, churches, and restaurants with very high ceilings.
Let’s not forget art deco chandeliers. This style is characterized by strong geometric shapes and linear designs in place of soft curves. Colours were bold and the mood was modern. Please ask us to find you a selection.
Of course, the term ‘vintage’ also applies to more recent styles – those of the 1960s and 1970s, and currently being described as enjoying a mid-century revival. Thanks to our close working relationships with Murano glass-making studios, we have developed our own collection of beautiful mid-century Murano glass chandeliers. Many of these are based on original designs by Venini, the world-famous glass-making house. We can offer you a modern update of the iconic Sputnik chandelier, for example, and numerous glass prism chandeliers.
You can find this collection, which we are currently enlarging, here: https://italian-lighting-centre.co.uk/collections/mid-century-murano-glass-revival