Monday, 14 January 2013

French Chandeliers and Vintage Lighting

Dazzle Vintage Furniture is an online boutique specialising in authentic French furniture and lighting. We stock a range of original French chandeliers, wall sconces and vintage lights. Since beginning to import French furniture in 2011 we have learnt a great deal about these beautiful pieces, and what makes them special. Here we hope to share some of this passion and knowledge, including a guide on what to look for, and more importantly, what to avoid, when buying vintage lighting.

Why Buy Vintage Lighting?

Modern reproduction pieces can never match the quality and charm of beautifully made, solidly constructed French pieces. Vintage chandeliers have exquisite detail making them appear as beautiful unlit on a sunny day as they do lit up at night. These pieces are weighty and will last another 100 years as long as they are looked after. They can also be heirlooms, retaining their value where modern pieces depreciate soon after purchase. 

Whether you have a modern house or a period property, a vintage chandelier can add a shimmer of French glamour and decadence to any styled room, creating a focal point and making the smallest of rooms look grand. 

Different Types of Vintage Lighting

Continental vintage lighting comes in many shapes and forms. There are lights to suit any room of the house. For boudoir glamour nothing beats a crystal chandelier. These beautiful and delicate pieces have stunning detail and produce a gorgeous shimmering warm glow. 

Always check that the crystals are all intact. Spares can be bought but they are often expensive. Any reputable dealer will mention any loss of drops. 

Detail from French Vintage Crystal Chandelier

Heavy brass and bronze chandeliers, usually with between 3 and 6 candle holders, are perfect for tall hallways, dining rooms and sitting rooms. These give bright, gleaming light and add a feeling of height to smaller rooms.

Always check the condition of the candle holders before purchasing. These are the most fragile parts on a vintage chandelier and frequently get cracked or broken. On older chandeliers slightly cracked and discoloured candle holders add charm and a sense of age to the piece. Be careful to look for sellers who replace the original holders with cheap modern ones sometimes made of cardboard. 

Vintage French Brass 3 Arm Chandelier 

Detail from Vintage French 5 Arm Chandelier 

Wall sconces are perfect for adding subtle light to living rooms and halls. These tend to suit older houses with period style rather than modernist homes. Check the lights have been rewired for modern fittings. Many sellers will sell these as 'found', often for use as candle holders. If you want to use them as lights check that they have been rewired to meet UK safety standards.

Set of French Vintage Wall Sconces  

Detail of wiring in a rewired set of French Vintage Wall Sconces

It's a little known fact that continental wiring differs greatly to British. Many vintage French and Italian chandeliers will simply not work in the UK until they are rewired, and this is not a simple task. Always make sure you buy from a reputable seller who clearly states whether or not the lighting is sold as a decorative item, or as a fully working piece. Vintage French lighting in its original state will not be earthed. Any reputable dealer will rewire items that are sold as lighting and provide safety certification on request. 

All the vintage lighting that we sell, unless stated otherwise, is rewired and reconditioned so that it is sold ready to use without fuss or extra expense.

Detail of wiring in a rewired French Vintage Chandelier 

Detail of wiring in a rewired French Vintage Chandelier 

French lantern lights are perfect for hallways, giving a wonderful clean bright light reminiscent of Victorian street lighting.

French Vintage Lantern Light 

As well as heavy brass chandeliers and sconces the French are known for producing Toleware lighting. Usually in the shape of flowers and leaves, these pretty and delicate pieces are perfect for bedrooms and provide something for those whose tastes are quirky and who cherish things a little different.

Vintage French Toleware Chandelier  

Who are we?

Dazzle Vintage Furniture is an online boutique specialising in authentic French furniture, lighting and accessories. We stock vintage armoires, French buffets, French vintage beds, antique mirrors and chandeliers. All our French furniture and lighting is original, vintage and imported directly from France.

Detail from Italian Vintage Chandelier

Italian Vintage Glass Crystal Chandelier

1 comment:

  1. As for electrical supplies, besides the chandelier itself, a heavy fixture brace and some twist - on wire connectors are all that is required. A new electrical box is needed, as well, although these are usually included with fixture braces.Chandeliers