Chandeliers, ceiling lights
Chandeliers are historically the most important kind of light fixtures. They are displayed in the center of the most exclusive rooms as well as in important religious buildings. Chandeliers framework materials are mainly wood, brass, wrought iron and bronze. The dressing is usually, for the most luxurious ones, rock crystal, and for the more modest ones, glass or crystal, white or colored. Some chandeliers, the Empire ones for instance, or those created by Jean François Théodore Gechter, are made out of gilt bronze. During the 20th century new shapes of chandeliers were created by great manufacturers like Veronese, Barovier, Toso, Fontana Arte, Crystal Arte, Baguès, and by artists like Gaetano Sciolari. Nowadays chandeliers “à l’ancienne” are still produced by the most important manufacturers like Baccarat and Murano which also produce innovative lighting.
Derived from chandeliers, ceiling lights are lighter fixtures hanging from the ceiling by a string or a chain, usually higher than a chandelier. Less elaborate, they played a major part in the 19th and 20th centuries interior design. At the end of the 19th century, ceilings were lowered and rooms became smaller, increasing their use. Ceiling lights go through time, from late 18th century sanctuary brass hanging lights to the late 1970s opaline fixtures. In the 20th century Scandinavian design focused on these objects with famous designers like Jo Hammerborg or Bent Boysen for Ikea. In Italy, well-known for its chandeliers the main names like Crystale Arte, Fontana Arte and Artemide produce somptuous pieces. In France ceiling lights were made by famous factories like Arlus, Maison Charles or Mathieu Lustrerie.