Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chandeliers Master Class

For those of you who'd like to know more about chandelier terminology (after all, you can only get so far talking about a bag), here's a brief glossary:
  • Arm ~ The light bearing part of a chandelier sometimes known as a branch.
  • Bag (there it is again) ~ A bag of crystal drops formed by strings hanging from a circular frame and looped back into the centre underneath, associated with Regency or Empire style crystal chandeliers.
  • Bead ~ A glass drop with a hole drilled right through.
  • Bobeche ~ A dish fitted just below the "candle" nozzle designed to catch drips of wax. Also known as a drip pan.
  • Candelabra ~ Not to be confused with chandeliers, candelabras are candlesticks, usually branched and designed to stand on tables, or if large, the floor.
  • Canopy ~ An inverted shallow dish at the top of a chandelier from which festoons of beads are often suspended, lending a flourish to the top of the fitting.
  • Cage ~ An arrangement where the central stem supporting arms and decorations is replaced by a metal structure leaving the centre clear for candles or other embellishments.
  • Corona ~ Another term for a crown-style chandelier.
  • Crown ~ A circular chandelier reminiscent of a crown, usually of gilded metal or brass and often with upstanding decorative parts.
  • Crystal ~ Glass with a lead content that gives it a special qualities of clarity. Also known as lead crystal.
  • Drip Pan ~ The dish fitted just under the "candle" nozzle. Also known as a bobeche.
  • Drop ~ A small piece of glass usually cut into one of many shapes and drilled at one end so that it can be hung from the chandelier with a brass pin. A chain drop is drilled at both ends so that a group can be hung together to form a string or festoon.
  • Dutch ~ Also known as Flemish. A style of brass chandelier with a bulbous baluster and arms curling down around a low hung ball.
  • Festoon ~ An arrangement of glass drops or beads draped and hung across or down a chandelier or sometimes a piece of solid glass shaped into a swag. Also known as a garland.
  • Finial ~ The final flourish at the very bottom of the stem. Some Venetian glass chandeliers have little finials hanging from glass rings on the arms.
  • Hoop ~ A circular metal support for arms, usually on a regency style or other chandelier with glass pieces. Also known as a ring, collar or gallery.
  • Neoclassical Style Chandelier ~ Glass chandelier featuring many delicate arms, spires and strings of beads.
  • Prism ~ A straight, many sided drop.
  • Regency Style Chandelier ~ A larger chandelier with a multitude of drops. Above a hoop rise strings of beads that diminish in size and attach at the top to form a canopy. A bag with concentric rings of pointed glass, forms a waterfall beneath. The stem is usually completely hidden.
  • Spire ~ A tall spike of glass, round in section or flat sided. To which arms and decorative elements may be attached, made from wood, metal or glass.
  • Tent ~ A tent shaped structure on the upper part of a chandelier where strings of drops attach to a canopy and at the bottom to a larger ring. 
  • Venetian ~ A chandelier typically from the island of Murano, Venice but also used to describe a chandelier in Venetian style.
  • Waterfall ~ Concentric rings of icicle drops suspended beneath the hoop or plate.

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