Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Light Up Above!

French Iron Screen Porch.

Russian, Downstairs Entrance hall, Originally burned Candles, 18th Century.

Pink Beaded Italian, Main Bath
Italian, Porcelain, Capa-  De -Monte, Guest Room.
   It is Sunday night, Mothers Day.  I worked in my shop and before I went to work this morning, I picked lots of lily of he valley from my garden, bundled it and tied several with some sweet pink bows. I had a lady with a walker and her daughter first thing and I thought, ain't got room for that walker. Well she turned out to be the sweetest thing and her daughter bought some stuff, so I gave each of them one of my bundles of lily of the valley. I think it made there day and after that it made mine. I gave away all of them ,before the day was out. In the mean time, the whole shop smelled of there wonderful scent. What ever made me think of it, I do not know? But it seemed to work and I had a really good  and much needed day at the shop.I went home and had some dinner and mowed the yard and headed out to walk Sissy Dog for the last time and thought I would come back to the shop and do a Blog. I am afraid I hurried and the pictures are not the best, OH WELL. Better ones next time, I promise!
   I have been asked by several followers to do a blog about the chandeliers at, My Old Historic House. So here goes. I am afraid my chandeliers are all newer. I had a slight budget problem and could not afford the price tag of the real old Astral or Gas light chandeliers,that would be proper for the age of my house(1845-1860), so I oped for the $900ish ones ,verses the $9,000ish ones. I had a shop in St.Louis for years and one of the main things I sold was chandeliers. Old ones, used ones, vintage and yes, even new ones. I have always had a passion for chandeliers. I saved my money when I was about 14 and ordered my first one from the Sears catalog.It was crystal and had glass shade and glass prisms and ropes. I think it had 8 lights. My Mother thought I was strange, but she always encouraged me to be creative, so when it came in the mail, we hung it in the dining room at the old farm house where I grew up. I paid $69.00 plus shipping. I sold  that same type chandelier, over and over in my shop for around $250-$350. It was a smart investment and I did not even realize it.

Vintage Powder Room Chandelier.

Purple Beaded Italian in the Purple Bed room.

Cranberry one of a pair, double parlors.

Dining Room, 5 foot tall.

    The chandelier has been a symbol of luxury and an exhibition of wealth since the 15th century. The powerful perception of grandeur lent it by Kings, has proven timeless. In the 21st century, a chandelier still breathes an aristocratic air to any room.
    The earliest Gallic designs, those iron circles of the dark Ages, have proved with perfect achievement of balance and austere beauty that the same styles endure, ignoring the passage of time, even through to the electric age, when the basic candle-burning design is obsolete.
   The decorative arts, not to mention candles, remained almost exclusively in the hands of the aristocracy until the 18th century and the arrival of the Industrial  Revolution. So to trace the history of the chandelier styles, one has to follow the Kings.All candle holders, including hanging ones ,were called candlelbra. A chandelier with crystals and drops was called a luster, the same word used to mean splendor.The gilt metal chandelier decorated with rock crystal would soon become the epitome of luxury, a must-have for Europe's most illustrious palaces and cha'-teaux.. 17th century advances in glass making would give luster.makers  a more affordable way to add light and sparkle to their creations. However, over the centuries, many lighting manufacturers continued to produce a few special fixtures hung with rock crystal..Makers soon began to make molded glass drops and pendants with the specific goal of looking like rock crystal.Soon Venetian glass masters were adding there touches and a whole new world opened up for chandelier makers.Flowers of color and feather like spikes decorated chandeliers.
    Early chandeliers were all lite with candles. And that was not all glamour.  Hundreds of candles created heat, dripping wax was dangerous, a smoke discolored walls and made a foul smell. Because of the dripping wax, people began to dance around the edge of a ball room instead of the center and that tradition continues today.

French Iron, Screen Porch.

Russian 18th century, down stairs entrance hall.

Pink Beaded Italian, Main Bath. 

  Iron, brass and bronze frames were soon changed over to glass. This came about in the second half of the 19th century. Hollow arms were soon made to accommodate gas lines and electric wires.And then even porcelain was made into chandeliers.From companies  like Sevres and Capa De Monte. Chandlers were hung in almost every room ,even the garden room or sun porch.

    Robert Adams created a chandelier style that would influence all Georgian crystal chandeliers and he was one of the first to make a solid color chandelier of all red, blue, green or amber glass.
   At the end of the 18th century, France introduces the brass bird cage frame, hung with prisms, drops and glass ropes. This style is very highly looked  for on todays market and is the style of French chandelier that one things of for there homes today.
    Russian chandeliers were known for their lightness and delicacy, but later the styles became heavier,more opaque and dense with crystal.

Older, Vintage Chandelier with blown glass bubbles, guest room.

Older French with Cranberry, dressing room.

Italian, Metal, My Bath Room.

    Today chandeliers are for almost every one, rich, poor and the middle class. The prices have come down and there is a price range for almost every budget, The Shabby Chic style , brought a big interest back in buying, selling, hanging, decorating with and collecting crystal chandeliers of all types. Home Depot and other do-it-yourself stores even carry some fun and affordable styles. I have to draw the line with the ones that have plastic prisms. I say it should at least be glass. Chandeliers on todays market can be found at yard sales, Craig's list and resale shops for all different prices. They really make a room and I could not imagine my life with out them. I hope you enjoy my collection as much as I have enjoyed collecting them. Come by any time for a tour and I will leave the," lights up above", on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. SPARKLE_SPARKLE!!!

Red Beaded, Pewter, Italian, upstairs, Entrance Hall Landing.

French Black Iron and Huge Prisms, Library

The June,2011 issue of Victorian Homes magazine , with a 12 page article about,My Old Historic House, is out on news stands now. I have just ordered more copies and if you are having trouble finding them, just email me at  and I can mail it. They are $5.00 and shipping is $2.00. You can send me a check. Thanks, I hope you get a copy and   see me in print.Richard



Anonymous said...

Oh my what gorgeous light fixtures!! Wow you have wonderful chandeliers!

I am wondering if you might know where to get replacement globes on antique fixtures. I have a flame globe on my latest blog post that I have been looking for over 2 or 3 years to replace. Would love any help you may have!

bee blessed

Amanda said...

Those are very nice. There's a porcelain chandelier at my parent's house, which looks a lot like your white Italian porcelain one but with angels. It's my favorite. Will let you know if I post a picture one day.

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful post Richard. I so enjoy hearing the history behind your collections.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, enjoying this beautiful weather.

victorian parlor II said...

Your chandeliers are gorgeous!!!



Anyes K. Busby - Studio Vignette Fine Art said...

Oh Richard, to be invited to your home for a meal... eating on these lovely dishes under these spectacular chandeliers. And I'll bet you can cook up a gourmet storm.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Richard,

Here's how Blue Monday works:

Please place a link to Blue Monday on your post and return to link in again to Mr. Linky. You can find the code in my sidebar.


Lavender and Linen said...

Wow! You are fortunate to have so many lovely
chandeliers in your old house. Very nice!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Such fabulous chandeliers, wow, I love them all. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Richard...

Ohhh my...what a fabulous post, my friend! Okay, I must be honest...I am still swooning...light-headed even...from viewing all of your GRAND chandeliers!!! As I was looking through your photos, I thought I would try and choose a favorite and finally gave up! They are all exquisite! I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to have all of these beauties in my home! Thank you so much for sharing them with us for the Sunday Favorites party this's such a pleasure to have you join in with the fun!

Just wanted to say how very give the elderly lady and her daughter a pretty bow tied bundle of lily of the valley! I'm sure that you made their day! Such an endearing story...thanks for sharing it with us!

Many heartfelt congratulations for having your fabulous home showcased in the June issue of Victorian Homes! You must be ecstatic!

Warmest spring wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Jenny said...

What gorgeous chandeliers! No wonder they featured your house! They have that magazine at Barnes and Noble. I'm going to nab one!

Although I suspect I will be drooling in envy over every delicious page.

Thanks for linking this week!

Absolutely lovely post!


Miss Kitty said...

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge in such an informative post! I enjoyed reading it and seeing your fabulous chandaliers. I am thrilled for you to have your home featured in a magazine. I will look for the magazine at our bookstore.

LaPouyette said...

Great post Richard!
As an antique dealer I know what you're talking about!
So interesting to see different styles of chandeliers on "one page", and the historical information you gave - just good!

You really have a great and wonderful collection, collected with passion!

Greetings from the PĂ©rigord,
karin said...

I enjoyed seeing these beautiful chandeliers,they are all just stunning. I am eagerly awaiting the magazine reaching our newsstand.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Congrats on the publication my wonderful friend!!! No, I haven't seen it, but I will be out and about today and I will stop by a store and be sure to get it! I am so proud of you - I have no doubt it is the best article in the magazine. Now, don't for the next two or three issue in the letters to the editor column, someone may write about your house and they may publish the letter!

Big hug to you,

Richard Cottrell said...

Thanks Elizabeth,I hope some of my followers might help me out and do that. I have it in good word that if they get enough good comments and feed backs they might do a second article about my house, after all they already have the photos. So Bloggers, if you like the article in VH magazine take time an email the magazine and say so. I would be greatfull. Thanks in advance. Richard

Curtains in My Tree said...

The chandeliers are breath taking and I can't even imagine living in a house like yours.

Surely you pinch yourself sometimes to make sure it is all real?

I would love to see Victorian Homes magazine do a second issue about your house so will do what I can to help out by writing the editor


ps give Sissy dog a kiss and hug from me

Sissysmom said...

Great post, love the chandeliers! I put my letter about your house in the mail to VH's last week. I would love to see your house all decked out for Christmas in their Holiday issue. Give Sissy dog a pat on the head for me! (Sorry, the first post had too many spelling errors and I had to delete it)

xinex said...

Wow! You have so many chandys and they are all so elegant. My favorite ones are the ones with pink crystals....Christine

Fabulously French said...

Wow, they are all gorgeous.

Signed a fellow chandelier lover :-)

lvroftiques said...

Richard your chandies are FAB!! Even if they aren't all the 9k variety *winks* The Russuian chandelier is my favorite...I had a few little heart palpatations looking at that one! But after that it's sooo hard to pick another favorite because they're all lovely. I'm mad for the french crystal...and almost as ga ga over the Italian beaded......I just ADORE chandeliers of all kinds!! If it has crystals dangling from it I'm going to be attracted like a bee to pollen! *winks*
Oh and Leeann who posted above me...I purchased a chandelier for my bedroom closet from her and it came all the way from France *winks*

Richard you can do this post over and over. I'll never get enough chandy eye candy! Vanna

Anonymous said...

How fascinating to learn that people danced around the edge of ballrooms to keep the candle wax from dripping on them. I enjoy your history lessons so much.

I love prisms and crystals and absolutely share your opinion against plastic. Ick! Seeing your chandeliers makes me kick myself (not for the first time) for not taking my dining room chandelier when I moved. The realtor said I could reserve it, and like a dunce I left it behind. It had gorgeous rectangular prisms, but of course it doesn't begin to compare with your dining room fixture. (That one takes my breath away.)

I buy antique prisms whenever I come across them or when they aren't priced too high. I hung them on my dining room Christmas tree last year, along with silver napkin rings and silver jelly spoons. Recently I acquired strings and strings of crystal chandelier beading. It will make Christmas tree garlands this December--at least until I use them to restore some lovely old light fixture.

Take care,

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Can you tell I am having a great time visiting you!!
SHhhhhhh, don't tell anyone that I am at work!!LOL!
These are all to die for!!!!! You are making my heart go pitter patter!!