Friday, March 11, 2011

The Jewels in the Crown

  A few years back I had a very big,10,00 sq. ft., antique shop in St Louis.. It was located in an old Florist building, that was built during the Worlds Fair in St.Louis,1904. It had several floors and in the middle was a large greenhouse. It was the first free standing greenhouse west of the Mississippi and the ceilings were 40 feet tall. Years before I opened this shop, on a visit to New York, I had dinner at the Tavern On The Green in Central Park. Well sadly, it is no longer, but if you were  ever there, you would know, that there was a  large greenhouse and it was full of beautiful colored chandeliers. When I went back ,I would always make reservations for a table  under the Cranberry chandelier. The last time I was there, was Easter Brunch ,a few months before it closed and all was sold off. So to make a long story short, I wanted to fill my new shop's greenhouse with crystal chandelers. I did and I had the shop for over 6 years and in that time, I sold many, many chandeliers. I had about 300 at all times. I was always on the look out for them and everywhere I went I asked if they had any chandeliers.I bought them and shipped them for everywhere.
    I have a friend ,CEO, in  the fabric business and she has a office in the Design Building in New York. She had a friend that was a buyer for the Hemsley Hotels. Hemsley and his wife, Leona,the Queen of Mean, bought a old Mansion  in New York and built a 55 story hotel around and on top of it. It was called the Hemsley Palace Hotel.Susan and I stayed there a couple of times, free, because of her friend. When
Mr.. Hemsley died and poor Leona had to go to prison, she sold off her hotels.The New owner renamed it the New York Palace.  Most of the hotels  were bought by The Sultan of Brunei, once the richest man in the world. Well Susan's friend stayed on with the new owner as a buyer. The Sultan liked a chandelier that he saw in the Dolmabahee Palace in Istanbul Turkey. It was one of the largest chandliers known in the world and it was made of French Baccarat Crystal. The Sultan,  with his influence, had this chandelier copied in various sizes and had them made in Istanbul for his hotels. When I told Susan I was looking for just the right chandliers for my new,old,house, she told her fiend ,the hotel buyer, who called me and told me to take a look at these Turkish chandeliers. I did and I was sold at first glance. I ordered them and months and months went by before I ever heard a world. I was begining to thank, I had been taken by the Sultan. But one day, out of the clear, a big truck pulled up and put three huge wooden  crates on my side walk and pulled off. They were to big to bring inside so I had to take them apart and carry Millions  of pieces inside. There was no directions, just that picture that I had first seen. They were in storage for a long time before I got the house and was ready to hang them. I was afraid they were broken or half missing. I had a man in St.Louis that repaired my chandeliers, re- wired them and hung them for people ,after I sold them. Donnie came to Clarksville with his big truck and all the millions of pieces and together we put those three chandeliers together. Took 2 days of long hours and many  bad words.

Close up of Dining Room Chandelier.

Notice the heavy gold and white flowers. The bottom piece is a series of  3 glass bellfowers.
The shade are very beautiful.

The Dinning room chandelier has 24 lights and is 5 foot tall.

    They have been hanging there every since. I take great pride in them and feel they are the Jewels in the Crown of My Old Historic House.I know they are the most beautiful in Pike County and maybe in Missouri. When I give tours they are what people comment on the most.  The dining room one is clear glass with heavy gold trim and tiny white flowers. It has 25 lights and 5 foot tall.. The two parlor ones are almost 4 feet  tall and are cranberry with gold trim and white flowers. They each have 18 lights. They have been there about 4 years now. Last fall when the people from Victorian Homes magazine came to take pictures my sister,niece and sister in law and I ,cleaned them for the first time and probably the last.

A view of the double parlors with the 2 cranberry chanderiers.
The beautiful cranberry color with all the white enamel trim.
A view looking up in the Up River parlor
Gentlemans parlor looking into the Ladies parlor with the pair of cranberry chandeliers.

A great view of the Up River parlor.
Down River parlor with 4 foot cranberry, 18 light chandelier, one of a pair.

Another picture of the giant dining room chandelier. 5 foot tall.
    And speaking of Victorian Home Magazine, I got a call from the editor about something and she said it would be soon. When I get the exact date, I will pass it on.
   Come by any time for a visit and see the chandeliers. I will leave them on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss.    

One of the largest chandeliers know, in the Dolmabahee Palace in Istanbul Turkey made in Baccarat ,France in the 1800's. My chandeliers are small copies of this one made for the Sultan of Brunei.
The Sultans house in Brunei. 1900 rooms. He now owns all the Hemsley Hotels including the New York Palace.
The Sultan of Brunei and his Royal Family.


lvroftiques said...

Richard they are amazingly gorgeous! How lucky you are to have them come live with you. Vanna

Divine Theatre said...

You can tell us, Richard, what kind of swear words did you use? LOL!
Sometimes it's just the thing for getting stuff to go your way!
Gracie and I look forward to meeting you soon! Your home is a jewel box!
Give Sissy a kiss from us and Napoleon!


Glenda/MidSouth said...

They are beautiful! I would not want the job of cleaning them.
Enjoy your weekend.

PAT said...

And they are glorious Richard. I am so happy I got to see them in person!

I love the story!

xinex said...

The chandys are gorgeous, Richard, they go with your house so well...christine

Brigitte said...

Hi Richard,
Your story is absolutely fascinating of how you obtained these grand chandeliers !!
It would be very hard for me to choose a favorite.The globe details are magnificent,the cut crystal prisms are many.You achieved a very elegant combination pairing the medaillions with the chandeliers.The rooms are GRAND !! and your taste exquisite.
You deserve being published in the "VICTORIAN HOMES " magazine.Can't wait to see it,
PS:Glenda I disagre with You....I'd be so very proud to have a chandelier like that I would NOT worry about cleaning them.On the contrary.The matter of fact I'd find great pleasure just walking around the rooms looking upwards to the ceiling having a big smile on my face :-)

Sissysmom said...


Bohemian said...

OMG Richard those Turkish chandies are MAGNIFICENT! And what a great story that goes with them... I love great stories. You guys did a great job putting such intricate pieces together without a manual or instructions... I'm afraid I'd STILL be working on it! *winks* The Turks do make beautiful decor, The Man spent time there while in the Service and brought me back several fabulous Turkish Treasures that I still cherish to this day, the workmanship is exemplary.

Thanks for coming by for a visit to my Blog and becoming a supporter... give Sissy a hug from me... Dawn... The Bohemian

victorian parlor II said...

The chandeliers are gorgeous! Can't wait to see the Victorian Homes magazine article:)!



Brigitte said...

I just had to come back and reread old posts in your blog.Great way to spend a Sunday morning,

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Hi Richard, what a beautiful chandy, none like I've ever seen. Hope you have a gret week, T

Anonymous said...

Richard - As the Germans would say, "Ausgezeichnet"!!! I am an internet friend of Miss Brigitte and wanted to congratulate you on making the Victorian Homes issue!

My husband and I are historical costumers in the Seattle, WA area and truly appreciate your dedication to authentic Victorian styling and your efforts to live this way instead of just having the house as a "museum". We too, live with antiques daily and love being able to live amidst our treasures.

Feel free to visit our historical costuming site: or visit my blog:

Victorian best wishes to you!
Lady Victoria & Sir Harry of Essex

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Richard, will be MOST anxious to see the article in Victorian Homes...your chandeliers are the most...and I mean THE MOST !

( Laughing )..I have never seen a THIN Sultan. Sounds as tho he MAY not have been all that pleased to have you... have them ? Delivering them that way..with no warning that they were coming..and NO instructions and leaving them on the walk for you to deal with. JMOPO.
But you are fortunate to now have them installed and you are getting the enjoyment of them well as others..and NOW the world will see them when VM comes out.

Enjoyed your story.