Buying Crystal and Glass Chandeliers Online

Sevilla 24 Light Swan Style Chandelier
Sevilla 24 Light Swan Style Chandelier

When it comes to lighting fixtures, the chandelier is the most opulent and decadent of them all. A chandelier makes a big design statement but don't think it's a product just for the rich. With beautifully dressed crystal or simply crafted contemporary glass and shades, there's a chandelier to suit all rooms, all homes and all budgets.

In this article we want to talk to you about the history of this great lighting fixture and show you a few crystal and glass chandeliers available to buy online.

Antique chandelier lit up by candles in the Esnoga in Amsterdam
Antique chandelier lit up by candles in the Esnoga in Amsterdam | Source

History of the Chandelier

The French word for candle is 'chandelle' and the word 'chandelier' means candleholder. The chandelier dates back to medieval times when rooms were illuminated by means of candles placed on spikes (known as prickets). The prickets were placed on the ends of simple wooden cross-shaped structures suspended from the ceiling. From the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, more elegant chandeliers were found in the private homes of the wealthy while more modest income families would have chandeliers made from wood or wrought iron.

To create the brilliance of chandelier light, quartz, mirrors and brass reflected and spread the light from the candle however the brittleness of quartz was difficult to work with. By the late 17th century, an English glassmaker had come up with a solution by adding lead oxide to a new type of crystalline glass that resembled quartz. This breakthrough provided a material that was easier to work with and was also highly refractive enhancing the brilliance of the light.

By the late 19th century, an Austrian crystal manufacturer by the name of Daniel Swarovski patented the first machine to cut precious stones to perfection. His technology was then used to cut crystal chandelier pieces which were so perfect that they created a flawless leaded glass crystal. The Swarovski name is still to this day synonymous with crystal chandeliers.

Early 19th century French cut-glass and ormolu chandelier in the Green Room of the White House
Early 19th century French cut-glass and ormolu chandelier in the Green Room of the White House

Chandelier Designs

The chandelier has such a rich and long history that no other lighting fixture has had so many different designs. From the simplistic to the fanciful, a chandelier has become more than just a way of illuminating a room. Through the centuries, designers and manufacturers have put their names to chandeliers. In England, William's Parker and Perry along with F & C Osler were famous chandelier manufacturers. In France, Baccarat chandeliers hung in the homes of the wealthy while in Austria, Swarovski, Lobmeyer and Schonbeck were manufacturing chandeliers of pure beauty.

Moving into the 20th century, chandeliers became more affordable and accessible in both cost and size and so the chandelier had a resurgence in homes across the world that continues to this day. With this new lease of life, and prices to suit all budgets, here are some of the best crystal and glass chandeliers on the market.

Crystal Chandeliers

Although chandeliers are typically found in living and dining rooms, they look fantastic in larger hallways or within commercial spaces such as restaurants or hotels. The crystal chandeliers recommended below are dressed with either Swarovski or Preciosa Strass crystal which help refract pure brilliant light around the room while the bulbs mimic the look of candles as used in the chandelier's early history.

Viking Chrome 8 Light Crystal Chandelier
Viking Chrome 8 Light Crystal Chandelier
Georgian 8 Light Crystal and Chrome Chandelier
Georgian 8 Light Crystal and Chrome Chandelier | Source

Glass Chandeliers

This chandelier uses optical glass to refract light:

Starlite Gold Plated and Glass 5 Light Chandelier
Starlite Gold Plated and Glass 5 Light Chandelier

Shade Chandeliers

If you like the look of a chandelier centre piece but prefer shades over the light bulbs we recommend these products to give you the best of both worlds:

Chrome 5 Light Chandelier with Black Fabric Shades
Chrome 5 Light Chandelier with Black Fabric Shades
Spica Large 6 Light Chandelier Fabric Shades
Spica Large 6 Light Chandelier Fabric Shades

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