Friday, September 24, 2010

Object of the Day: An Antique Gilt Bronze Chandelier

Crystal chandeliers come in many styles, shapes and materials. Craftsman from Portugal and Spain created a variety of unique gilt bronze fixtures, borrowing from popular Belle Époque French trends.


This gleaming chandelier most likely heralds from Portugal and dates to the 1920’s. Defined by curved arms which end in volutes at both ends, an ornate crown which creates a cage-like “vase” at the top, and a heavily carved base and finial, this chandelier was found in a local antique store stripped of its many crystals. With the crystals replaced, it now proudly lights my study.

The odds of finding a bronze chandelier with all of its original prisms are rather slim. However, you can purchase fixtures such as this one and dress them however you wish. Here, I’ve opted for long crystal spears and “angel-shape” prisms which complement the florid, natural lines of the piece. Prisms can be purchased online or from a local lighting store, offering you a wide selection of sizes and shapes.

Portuguese designers relied heavily on winding, uninterrupted lines and showed magnificent skill in metalwork. There’s something innately organic about these pieces—at once speaking of elegance and the gracefulness of the outside world.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

These are really cool way to dress up an area. But just be sure that the wiring on these old pieces is in good shape. If they're old cloth-covered wire they need updating. And, it's probably best to let a lamp shop redo the wiring as the little metal arms are really tight to get wire through.

Joseph said...

That's good advice. Thanks for your contribution!