Chandeliers are objects of beauty, and they can add an element of elegance to any room or outdoor area. Chandeliers are synonymous with high-end style and they evoke images of glamour. A well-chosen chandelier can instantly transform the appearance of a room, maybe more so than other types of lighting. Chandeliers also have interesting past.
Candle chandeliers were the first type to emerge and they were popular with the affluent during medieval times. These were usually wooden crosses, and candles were added to spikes to make them secure. They would be hooked on a rope or chain, and then hoisted up to the desired height.
By the 15th century chandeliers had become more complex, with the design being based on crowns. This meant that they were often seen in palaces and the homes of the wealthy. Their high cost meant that chandeliers were a symbol of affluence and luxury.
During the 18th century the merchant class was growing and this created a demand for chandeliers with curved, long arms with many candles. Neoclassical emblems were increasingly seen, mainly in cast metals, but also in various types of wood. As glass making progressed lead crystal could be produced at a cheaper rate. It is this lead crystal that scatters light in numerous directions, and this led to the first crystal chandelier.
Come the mid-19th century and gas lighting had become widespread, meaning many chandeliers were converted. During the 1890s the electric light appeared, and some chandeliers used both electricity and gas. Throughout the 18th and 19th century more fancy and elaborate chandelier designs emerged, and by the end of the 20th century chandeliers became available that did not actually illuminate, but were just used for decorative purposes.