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