Everything you wanted to know about chandeliers but were afraid to ask...

Traditionally, glass and crystal has been used on chandeliers to add sparkle and elegance. These arrays of hanging prisms and glass were used to illuminate a room with refracted light. Modern tastes have changed and contemporary lighting fixtures have done away with this ornamentation. Recently, however, there has been a resurgence and many people long for the sparkle and beauty that crystal and glass can add to their home decor. While some may not want the look of an old-fashioned crystal chandelier, many people want a little extra pizzaz for their homes. Crystal prisms can be draped from lighting fixtures, or hung in a window or the garden to catch the rays of the sun to add beauty to your home and enhance your home decor. With just a little creativity the possibilities are nearly endless.

Chandelier, A Brief History

Glass has been used for art and for decoration for a very long time and has a long tradition. We are all familiar with the stained glass windows of gothic cathedrals, but there are examples of both decorative and functional glass going back thousands of years. The luster and beauty of glass has captivated people throughout history and it is no wonder we continue to find enjoyment in glass used in art and home decoration to this day.


Fun Fact: The word "chandelier" is a branched ornamental light fixture designed to hang from a ceiling, as opposed to a candelabra (from the word candelabrum) which stands on it's own. The word chandelier was first known in the English language by 1736, which in turn was borrowed from the French word chandelle, meaning candle, which itself comes from the Latin candela.

The earliest candle chandeliers date from the mddieval times and were used by wealthy for lighting. From the 15th century more complex forms, based on ring or crown designs, became popular decorative fixtures in palaces and the homes of the nobility, clergy, and the rising merchant, class (which itself is the forerunner of today's middle class).


Historically, the lighting industry used the term "crystal prism" as an umbrella term to encompass the myriad of shapes and glass materials used to decorate a chandelier and together all these crystal prisms were called "chandelier trimmings" to distinguish them from other chandelier parts, such as arms, bobeches (which originally were small cups or bowls into which the candles were fitted and were to contain the dripping wax), bodies, and finials, and electrical components such as sockets, wire, etc.


Individually you may also come across the term drop, bead, and jewel and these may be faced or smooth. Beaded chain consists of beads strung together and are either graduated, where the sizes of the beads changes over the length of the chain, or uniform where the size of the bead remains constant over the length of the chain.


While most often made of glass, crystal can also be used. Crystal is a glass product but with a specific chemical makeup. In the past crystal was made with lead which made the crystal a very delicate and refined product with exemplary sparkle and shine but also heavy for its size, and you can still find older crystal crystal prisms with it. However, because of the concern about lead, over the last 20 or 30 years it has been eliminated from the manufacturing process and now all of the products we offer here are lead free.


Modern manufacturing has developed a product with equal sparkle and shine to the old leaded crystal. Swarovski, for example, eliminated lead content from their crystals and now make an outstanding lead-free crystal that will delight all who behold it.



CurioHome offers a variety of hand-crafted glass items to enjoy and showcase in your home decor. Glass and crystal can be displayed as unique objects of art, as accents in your decorations, to enhance your table when you entertain, as ornaments, jewelry, or given as a gift. Whether draped from a chandelier or hung in a window or as part of your landscaping to catch the rays of the sun, glass and crystal will add light, color, sparkle— and enjoyment— to your home. The uses for glass is as unlimited as our imagination. Please browse our selection and be sure to bookmark us as we add unique glass items for home decoration and accents frequently.

Crystal Prisms, Beads, and Jewels

Whatever you call them, we offer a wide variety of crystal prisms, chandelier trimmings, drops, beads, and jewels. If you do not see what you are looking for in our store, PLEASE contact us. If you are looking for replacements for chipped or broken prisms for older chandeliers, we still have some stock of older pieces. And yes, If you need some of the old leaded crystal that simply must match an existing crystal prism, we still have a limited quantity of that as well.


Finials


Finials are stylized caps that help secure the shade of a lamp or cap off the bottom of a chandelier or fixture. They complete the lamp or fixture's aesthetics and compliment your home decor. Finials come in a variety of shapes and sizes and be made of a wide variety of materials. They can be very decorative or have a clean, modern look. They can be naturalistic, shaped like fruit or flowers, or abstract evoking simple shapes. Whatever your decorating style— simple or fancy— finials add a personal touch to your home decor.

Whether you use a finial as a decorative element of a lamp, chandelier, or lighting fixture, at the end of a curtain rod, or as an object of art or decoration by itself or in combination with other decorative items in your home, finials are a wonderful accessory in a room and can tie your design together.

Chandelier Parts


The word chandelier was used in English by the mid-1700s. Chandeliers evolved from the candelabra and were invented during the medieval era and used candles as the light source. By the 18th century chandeliers used gas light and later electric lights. There are many parts used in making of chandeliers and these chandelier parts include: the arm, which is what holds the light; the bobeche, which is a dish that sits just below the candle nozzle/socket and was originally designed to catch drips of wax and from which prisms (also known as "drops") are suspended; and the body, which is composed of breaks, spindles, tubes, etc.

CurioHome offers many chandelier parts made with glass, especially arms and bobeches, as well as prism pins and glass rings for hanging prisms from. If you need a specialty part, or something in a different size, please contact us and we will be happy to help. Please see our collections of specialized and decorative glass and crystal items.


Glass has been used for art and for decoration for a very long time and has a long tradition. We are all familiar with the stained glass windows of gothic cathedrals, but there are examples of both decorative and functional glass going back thousands of years. The luster and beauty of glass has captivated people throughout history and it is no wonder we continue to find enjoyment in decorative glass used in art and home decoration to this day.


CurioHome offers a variety of hand-crafted glass items to enjoy and showcase in your home decor. Glass and crystal can be displayed as unique objects of art, as accents in your decorations, to enhance your table when you entertain, as ornaments, jewelry, or given as a gift. Whether draped from a chandelier or hung in a window or as part of your landscaping to catch the rays of the sun, glass and crystal will add light, color, sparkle— and enjoyment— to your home. The uses for glass is as unlimited as our imagination. Please browse our selection and be sure to bookmark us as we add unique glass items for home decoration and accents frequently.


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