When Were Chandeliers Invented? The History of Polycandelon

In the history of lighting, one of the first light sources was chandeliers, which over the centuries, were the main decorative element. But it is difficult to guess when they were invented because they existed already in medieval times. In this article, you will read what I found on this topic.

When were chandeliers invented? In the Byzantine period, the polycandelon was the first chandelier with a place for candles. In the 15th century, new levels were added with space for more candles. The most impressive chandeliers date back to the 16th/17th century.

The History of Lighting – From Byzantine Polycandelon to Modern Chandeliers

The fight for light has followed mankind since the dawn of time, not only in fear of the darkness, but also at the level of warm processing of food consumed, or in need to stop wild animals and continue the day after dark, during everyday activities and hunting.

Nowadays, in the era of electricity, even short light breaks cause us to fear the unknown.

Culturally, even mythologically, shadow and darkness were connected with evil, hell, and heaven.

The desire to stop the darkness and the need to survive forced people to explore areas of science, search for ways not only to arouse a spark but also to maintain the fire.

Starting with wooden piles and materials dipped in oily substances, filled with beeswax, ending with the first oil lamps.

In the history of lighting, one of the first was the chandelier, which over the centuries and depending on the design trends of following epochs, was the main decorative element or was just totally ignored.

The history of the chandelier goes back to the Middle Ages, namely the 5th century.

In the Byzantine period, as a hanging circle with a place for a dozen or so candles, polycandelon illuminated sacred places.

Later on, it was adapted as the lighting of the manor houses of the wealthiest social group.

Cheaper and less stable two wooden beams with candles or round ones, based on the structure of a wheel for a car, wrought iron, or in the wealthiest families, made of bronze, over time found their way from the city chambers.

Thanks to the lamps placed in this way, it was possible to comprehensively illuminate a larger area, as well as optically lower high rooms, which turned into a more comfortable and cozy atmosphere inside the rooms.

The Renaissance era brought intensive development in the field of culture and art, including design.

Due to the search for perfect shapes, this circle gave rise to many elements that are also used today.

Based on polycandelon, in fifteenth-century new levels were added with space for more candles.

The most impressive chandeliers date from the 16th/17th century, which are from the Baroque.

The richness of decorations, irregular shapes, splendor, often entering the later stage of late baroque, rococo, which was the culmination of the style – opposition to monumentalism, delicacy, and sensuality.

It was in this period that designers most often used mirrors, copper plates, or crystals to reinforce the effect of the refraction of light, which resulted in the production of glass chandeliers from 1700.

The first glass elements of the chandelier construction were blown out on the Venetian island of Murano.

Hence the nowadays popular decorative elements made of Murano glass, which are characterized by high quality and very elegant design.

Apart from glass, crystals were also often used, which are still popular to this day, especially those produced by the French glassworks of St. Anne – Baccarat.

With the design and the material used for the chandeliers, the weight of the chandeliers also increased steadily, so brass handles and chains became the basis for safety.

The phenomenon of reflection of light with the use of glass or crystals in the era of electricity stopped to have so much importance.

The first half of the twentieth century also did not bring too many revolutions in chandelier design, because during this period, more dynamically developed spotlighting – desktop lamps, sconces or standing lamps.

It was only after World War II that the rebirth of hanging lighting, which in many designs was the main point of the whole room.

Brought with it a new vision of lighting design, and a return to its roots when styling new designs for Byzantine polycandelon, with imitation wax candles placed on the circle.

What do Chandeliers Symbolize?

Chandeliers have initially been used in monasteries and medieval holy places to illuminate large rooms and corridors.

A chandelier is a ceiling light that has at least two arms.

Previously, the structure was usually a wooden cross.

Soon afterward, the crystal luminaire was not only used for lighting purposes but even beautified and increased the functionality, because it consisted of additional mirrors that illuminated the entire room.

Chandeliers on the ceilings in castles and wealthy homes were genuinely amazing. Over time, crystal chandeliers have turned into a picture of wealth.

Ceiling light made of an expensive stone is one of the types of luminaires.

It slowly improved until the 17th century when, in England, Jutta-Arnette Page, the guardian of the European Collection at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, improved the quality of glass.

As a result, it gave the old gemstone its clearness and shone with reflections of light.

Every shade of rainbow was spread all over the room.

The gemstone was costly, which was the reason why there were problems with producing it.

What’s more, these crystals were very delicate, which makes them difficult to cut.

Created in 1676, crystal glass, which can be a choice to improve the chandelier, was invented by George Ravenscroft.

The glass becomes flexible and more comfortable to cut if the lead oxide is assembled in it.

Chandeliers soon became extravagant articles, and their designs slowly turned out to be complicated and stylish.

The arms of the ceiling handles were hung on chains, and the chandeliers were becoming more sophisticated and complex.

What is the Difference Between a Chandelier and a Candelabra?

Candelabra and chandeliers – luxury lighting yesterday and today

Candelabra came from Ancient Rome and was originally a candlelight stand.

In the Renaissance, candelabras were very fashionable, and Italian artists designed them along the lines of those of Rome – wood, marble, or bronze.

With time, a chandelier known to all of us was born from the candelabra.

Allow yourself a bit of luxury at home and invest in a candelabra or a decorative chandelier.

Candelabra & Chandelier – A Little Luxury In Your House

Originally designed as a stand for candles, it was developed and used most in Renaissance.

It is believed that candelabra arose in ancient Rome to provide the light and serve as a basic part of the interior decoration.

A huge chandelier like this one is suitable for a large room, preferably a public one – a church or a museum.

The candelabra were used in Ancient Rome in temples and public buildings.

They had the shape of a statue with a massive tripod ended with a bowl, in which there were incense and fragrance oils.

They were modeled after our altars and chapels in the Renaissance era and became a decorative element, enriching the interior of the houses.

It used to be an important part of every self-respecting home. How about now? 

Now we associate candelabra with antiques, considered expensive and unnecessary elements of decoration.

A candelabra and chandelier can also be very practical and completely changing the interior of your home.

It also does not have to be expensive. It depends on how much decorative and how much functional it is.

Modernity and avant-garde are often new solutions.

In the case of the salon, however, the classic designs are still very popular.

A chandelier in the center of the ceiling is one of the basic items of equipment.

Its purpose is not only to illuminate the living room but also to decorate it a bit.

When planning the appearance of the living room, you should also consider the type of lighting.

A chandelier is an immediately noticeable element – especially when the light is on.

It significantly affects the appearance and atmosphere of the living room.

Today, manufacturers offer us a range of chandeliers differing in size, number of bulbs, material, and style.

The most popular chandeliers are crystal, glass, wooden, brass, plastic, and even paper chandeliers!

Crystal Chandeliers Bring to Mind the Old Glamour

Their undoubted advantage is their timelessness. They also work perfectly today.

They are available in many sizes. Their advantage is the show of lights appearing in the elements made of crystal.

Brass chandeliers are known for their great durability, simple storage, and cleanliness.

Brass chandeliers are not rusty, and their appearance is very impressive.

There are two types of finish to choose from: 

  • Golden gloss 
  • Matt antique patina. 

Glass chandeliers are today available in many shapes, colors, styles, and sizes.

Placed in salons look very impressive.

Chandeliers made of plastic delight with their wide range of colors.

Available in different shapes. Their undoubted advantage is their great durability.

It is not difficult to keep them clean. They are often made to look like glass or crystal.

Wood chandeliers are only suitable for specific rooms.

They seem to be massive and difficult to adjust to the room.

Paper chandeliers are a wholly modern solution.

We are unlikely to meet them in the showrooms, but fans of innovative solutions will certainly not mind a paper ball placed in the room.

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