To the untrained eye, this fixture might appear to be just another over-the-top "fancy" Victorian chandelier - but it is so much more than that, and we feel very fortunate to offer it here. Probably dating to the first decade of the 20th century, during the transitional period when Victorian decorative trends were evolving into a cleaner, more modern look (yes, really), this spectacular chandelier is one of the rarest of the rare - a large multi-arm fixture that would have originally hung in a store, hotel, theater, bank, university hall, office lobby or other substantial commercial or institutional space.
During the "carbon-filament" period just before the introduction of tungsten bulbs around 1910, the only way that you could light a large, high-ceilinged room was with huge double- or even triple-tier fixtures that featured lots of arms for lots of bulbs. And, believe it or not, this is a relatively small one. It would not have been uncommon to have tiers of 6, 12 and 18 sockets, for a total of 36 or more.
If you can imaging the semi-indirect bowl fixtures that became popular after 1910, you can also see how fixtures like this one rapidly became obsolete, both in technology and in looks. By the 1930s and 1940s, not many remained that hadn't been replaced by more up-to-date fixtures with less decoration and more light output. And these weren't fixtures that you could just stick in the corner of a basement or attic - these were albatrosses sent straight to the metal scrapper.
Which makes the survival of this awesome example all the more remarkable. With its charming balls on chains, intricate cast armbacks, scrolling bent tubing arms, matte-antique finished brass, and 12 matching period etched shades, this is a fixture that will simply transform the space in which it is hung into place so special and unique that even this price will seem like a bargain.
To explore the history of Victorian Era fixtures, check out their story on our Blog.