Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chandeliers 101

Chandeliers are not to be feared. They are our friends.

Like shirts, they have collars. Like TV's "Dynasty", they have a Crystal. Like the people we work with, some are drips. Like our circuses, they have tents (this could also apply to those of us who throw on mumu's the minute we get home). And like our eyes, they have bags.

As you can see from the images below, a bag is the area below the main gallery and tent area-- bags create the vasiform (good word, huh?) shape of the piece. Here's a chandelier with a really nice bag:
Little known factoid: legendary soul singer James Brown's father was a huge fan of chandeliers with unusual bags.

James even wrote a song about it (which I think was a sensitive and touching tribute to his late father's decorating sense). Who could ever forget Poppa's got a Brand New Bag? 

Whenever I crank up my iPod and that song comes on, I don't think funk-I think of glittering chandeliers in grand European palaces. Such is the power of great music.  

But back to chandeliers. Here are two charts showing the basic terms used to describe chandelier parts:

And shown below are three of my favorite chandeliers.

A 19th c. Italian Empire Giltwood Eighteen Light Chandelier created for Palazzo Archinto (Milano):
List price: $325,000 USD

A Rare 18th c. Bronze Italian rock crystal and cut crystal chandelier from Palazzo Pio:
List price: $360,000 and now in a private collection

A Grandly Scaled Hand Blown Murano Shadows in Milk Glass Twelve-light chandelier:
List price: $128,000 USD

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