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Heavy Bronze & Crystal "Wedding Cake Chandelier" Restoration / Circa 1920

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    Posted 2 years ago

    (1145 items)

    This grand old lady was a wreck when my sister brought it to me and said "See what you can do." I told her...."well it will cost more to restore it than you paid for it that's for sure. So on with the restoration and updating. Most of the crystals were missing. I salvaged as many as I could, more buttons than pendants really and put them aside for cleaning. The metal parts had been painted so I just repainted them. The frame is heavy bronze. The canopy top is brass and sounds like a cymbal when you tap it. It had water and maybe even fire damage with rust and with all the old cloth wiring everything needed replacing. All the sockets and wiring are new. I reoriented the interior sockets to face downward. The frame had screw-in plugs which hid another five light sockets around the bronze crown. This baby could honestly hold over 400 watts worth of light bulbs. Thank God for vintage LED bulbs. I had enough of the original crystals to do the crown. 75 to be exact. The tiers that hold the rest of the crystals are bare for now. I just ordered the remaining 200 (bulk rate with extras) and still have the original crystal sphere that hangs at the very bottom. When its done it goes in the stairwell to the loft. It will need a special fan box and strap to the beam because of the weight which is maybe 20-25 pounds . -Mike-

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    1. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 2 years ago
      AWESOME old light fixture Mike, also AWESOME (if ongoing) work to restore it!! <cheers><applause> Its always fun to see such a fine old thing 'brought back from near dead'!!! :-)

      FWIW, I'd agree with your 1920's age estimation -- a short period of time when electric light bulbs were the 'latest greatest modern marvel' thus often installed in ways/fixtures/etc which proudly displayed the bare bulbs themselves instead of hiding them within/behind diffusers and shades. If you *could* have electric light bulbs then, you probably wanted *everybody* else around to know it?!! <lol> [my favorite unofficial term for the style is "light bulb gothic", but that's just me... <giggle>]

      Another thing worth remembering, the bulbs themselves back then would be the equivalent of 15-25w incandescents nowadays in their largest available would indeed take another few decades or so for technology/style trends to come up with the 300-500w (or more) lightbulbs buried out of view behind layers of 'indirect diffusers' that'd become popular by the 1940's-50's.

      Please DO give an update when you complete it and get it hung back up?!! :-) :-) :-) :-)

    2. Mrstyndall Mrstyndall, 2 years ago
    3. Brunswick Brunswick, 2 years ago
      Nice!! We have a Intresting one that we took down to replace with ceiling fan. It has no glass or Crystal, yet it resembles candel stick holders in a circle, but used bulbs. It is big and heavy. Old I know. The home here built in '25.

    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 2 years ago
      Thanks Anything, Mrstyndall, and Thomas....for the "loves" and compliments. I should have all the crystals by next week for the grand reveal. Then I'll have to remove them all when it comes time to hang it. Waiting for the electrician to install the box and supports too in the next few weeks. :)
    5. portagepark, 8 months ago
      Hi Mike, Lovely to see this fixture brought back to life! I recently purchased a 1920s house and am undertaking a similar restoration project. The house has a few light fixtures that seem to be original that are similar to the one you posted. How did you clean the crystals and the body of the fixture? Where did you purchase the replacement crystals? My fixtures appear to have identical U-drop prisms as your photo. Will post pictures in a separate post!

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