The History and Evolution of Chandeliers

The chandelier, known around the better portion of the world simply as a ceiling-mounted lighting fixture, has been a lighting mainstay throughout the ages. The etymology of the word itself derives from the Old French (a dialect of French spoken 9th-14th centuries, precursor to Modern French). These lighting types are found in dining rooms, hallways, living rooms, bathrooms, great halls and more. If you are seeking out chandeliers in Delaware, give the Light House a look, providers of lamps and lights suitable for your greatest of halls or just your nightstand.

The earliest of candled chandeliers were found in the homes of the wealthy during the medieval age. They were of a portable variety that could easily be transferred from room to room. From the 15th century onward designs based on rings or crowns became popular and were looked upon as status symbols. These were found in the finest homes of elites such as nobles, clergy and merchants.

The Ormolu (ground or pounded gold) form became the norm during the 18th century. These contained many curved arms and resemble the type we are familiar with today. Often of a neoclassical (a “Western” movement in the decorative and visual arts inspired by classical Greek and Roman works) design, these chandeliers were made often of metals, carved and/or gilded wood.

During this era, evolutions in glassmaking made large scale production of crystals more readily available and thus their properties in light scattering were utilized, adding to the canon crystal chandeliers. Bohemian (made in parts of what is now the Czech Republic) and Venetian chandeliers were the most popular varieties of crystal chandeliers, their most popular attribute being the opportunity to channel spectacular light refraction based on the detail in cuts of crystal prisms themselves.

By the 19th century, gas lighting became the norm in chandeliers. Known as gasoliers, many existing candle varieties were converted to this type. The 1890s arrived and with it electric chandeliers—many operating as gas and electric hybrids. As more homes and businesses of this day were placed on the equivalent of the modern day grid, full blown electric varieties became the norm.

Are you interested in learning more about chandeliers in Delaware? Want to know about our in store promotions? Call us at The Light House at 302-239-8290, visit our store on Yorklyn Road in Hockessin, Contact Us or Browse Our Store.

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