I am in the market for a new Chandelier and thought I would share my obsession for these gorgeous, dripping, glittering, splendors of light with you!
The word "Chandelier" comes from the French word for candle holder. These Wedding Cakes of light usually only appeared in churches, mosques, or only in the grandest of palaces. Oh to be in Versailles to witness those famous chandeliers flickering & fluttering with diamond droplets of light!
Dutch traders began to introduce chandeliers to the nouveau riche in the late 16th century. The first crystal chandeliers were made of transparent quartz. Today, to find one of these irregularly shaped crystal stone pieces is a rare find. By the 17th century, artisans learned how to cut this rock crystal but it was very difficult. The French eventually replaced this rock crystal with glass, but the name "crystal" stuck & continues to be used to describe both kinds of chandeliers.
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Murano, the famous Italian glass makers, upped the ante as they were the first to make chandeliers entirely out of glass. A crazy nugget of info~ they used to threaten to send assassins after any artisan who took their glass making secrets abroad! Can you imagine! Also in the 17th century an English glass maker named George Ravenscroft discovered that by adding lead oxide to glass it would make the glass easier to work with & more reflective. This lead to making more ornate and less expensive fixtures. People could now light their home with incredible chandeliers dangling with pendants in the shape of fruits, bells, beads, and flowers!
The likes of Edith Wharton, Henry James, & Baccarat to name a few, helped to create the popular image of fabulous parties illuminated by glittering, sparkling, chandeliers that hung over ballrooms like shimmering diamond earrings!www.ZGallerie.com
That's all for today! Have a dazzling day!
Bisou Mon Amis!
Portions of this post excerpted from Traditional Home Magazine October 2004