Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Home Beautiful: King William III's Rock Crystal Chandelier, c. 1690

Rock Crystal Chandelier
Hampton Court Palace
c. 1690
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
via The Royal Collection Trust
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Click on image for larger size.

King William III (most probably) acquired this chandelier during the renovation and redecoration of Hampton Court Palace in the 1690s.  The monumental fixture is built on a frame of silver which is entirely concealed by strings of rock crystal beads (affixed by lead), massive pendants and carved marigolds.  Pearls are interspersed amongst the crystals.  Surmounted by an enormous rock crystal crown, the twelve-candle chandelier is decidedly impressive.

Originally, it's thought, the chandelier was hung in the dining room of Hampton Court Palace.  According to the Royal Collection Trust, "It may possibly be that seen and recorded by Celia Fiennes on her visit to the palace in 1697, as a, 'Chrystal Branch for candles', hanging in the dining room."

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