Sonya Cooper. Chandelier. January 31st , 2018.
The earliest chandeliers were very basic, almost primitive devices that involved two pieces of wood connected together to form a cross. A spike was inserted at each end to hold the candles and a rope or chain was connected to the crosspiece and then suspended from the ceiling. As a former antique dealer, Ive found that nearly all of the earliest chandeliers were destroyed and very few authentic examples remain in existence today. The chandelier found its resurgence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and was found in the great palaces of Europe and America.
For example, the Schonbek crystal chandeliers, or others dating back to the 16th century, are ageless and enduring. These fixtures have withstood the test of time. Since then, many other styles have evolved and are equally as impressive. Most modern fixture designs manage to offer both a nod to the past while fitting seamlessly into the decors and designs of presentday. One of my favorite topics is the chandelier because of its history as a method of lighting that was used before the sixteenth century.
Gone are the days of just the rot iron candelabra looking chandeliers. The style of chandeliers have increased with time, and with these styles have come new and innovative ways to play with light, style, and design. Some of the more modern style of chandelier are designing them so that the bulbs are on a snake like retractable tube. These new modern chandeliers, actually allow you to focus the light directly on one spot, or in multiple different areas. No longer are the chandelier owners slaved to have just the one chandelier lighting option.
Certain styles of chandelier have placed mirrors around or among the bulbs to increase the light going into the room. When you place mirrors on a chandelier, not only do you increase output, you also increase the ability to play with the lighting. With a small twist of a mirror the light is bounced to another part of the room or made to hit another mirror. With that thought in mind, you also have the ability to cut and etch the mirrors to create a large range of visual effects from rainbows, to circles, to a split beam that dances on the wall.
Now you can place all the bulbs down so that it highlights the specific dinner pieces on the table below. There is one example I have seen on Thanksgiving where the host positioned the light to highlight the turkey, the ham, the delectable side dishes, and the deserts. The host positioned the other lights to shine on the lighter color walls to diffuse the light coming into the room. Another modern style has a pane of glass in front of each of the bulbs. This allows the light coming off of the bulbs to be more gentle and soft.
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