Who Invented Chandeliers? The Whole Story

Either like me, you’re interested in the history of chandeliers, or you just got your homework. Either way, you’re also looking for information on who invented the chandeliers. In this article, I will try to write everything I have found on this topic!

So who invented the chandeliers? This question cannot be answered because chandeliers were invented as early as the Middle Ages. Chandeliers have a very long and complicated history, which has experienced many changes over the years. Polycandelon is considered to be the first chandelier.


It was very similar to Byzantine art and came from around the V-VI centuries.

The main characteristics of the original polycyclic are the metal form of a flat disc with hanging arms.

This kind of chandelier could have been illuminated with up to sixteen candles.

They were mainly suspended in churches and important institutions.

In private flats, the first chandeliers began to appear in palaces and residences inhabited by wealthy people.

They strongly related polycandelon but were created in the image of a circle.

The Renaissance and Baroque epochs changed the chandeliers only a little until the creation of crystal models.

Crystal chandeliers gave much more light, but also looked impressive. 

The Baccarat steelworks produced many variants of the first crystal chandeliers.

In the 15th century, chandeliers started to be used in less wealthy farms for good.

Typically, glass models were made from blown glass with delicate shapes.

In the 20th century, chandeliers spread for good. Everyone had at least one chandelier in their house.

The world’s chandelier designers, who have distinguished themselves throughout history, were among others: Gino Sarfatti, Achille Castiglione, Gio Ponti, or Ingo Maurer.

The History of Chandeliers is Longer than… The History of Electricity and Light Bulbs.

How is that possible? Well, the first chandeliers were constructions on which candles were simply placed.


Polycandelons had the shape of an openwork disc with arms, on which it was possible to place a dozen or so candles.

The first Byzantine chandeliers, dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries, were made of solid metal.

Initially, chandeliers appeared only in the homes of the wealthiest people, in palaces and residences, and churches.

The reason for this was, of course, the cost – massive chandeliers made of high-quality metals were too expensive for ordinary mortals.

The chandeliers became popular only ten centuries later.

In the 15th century, they began to produce their cheaper wooden counterparts, which made it possible to illuminate less wealthy homes.

Baroque and Renaissance period

The Baroque and Renaissance periods were a real lighting revolution – the chandeliers created at that time were multi-story (they consisted of several circles of various sizes) and richly decorated with brass tiles, glasses, mirrors, and crystals.

All these procedures made the light sources extremely useful, but also much more effective – the light of candles was reflected and refracted in glass and crystal additions, multiplying its power.

The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

The turn of the 17th and 18th centuries marked the beginning of the production of blown glass chandeliers – the most impressive (also colorful) chandeliers were made by the Italian designer and architect Gio Ponti, who created them on the Venetian island of Murano.

The second half of the 19th century was the time when mass production of light bulbs and, with them, of electric chandeliers began.

Crystal elements were no longer needed, and the demand for simpler and more affordable chandeliers was continually growing.

Simple, electric chandeliers became popular at the beginning of the 20th century.

The competition in the form of wall lamps or desk lamps also grew.

The chandeliers in unusual forms returned in the 1940s and 1950s.

The most original chandeliers come from this period, such as the Birdie model with winged bulbs (by Ingo Maurer) or the Dear Ingo chandelier using the form of a broken desk lamp (by Ron Gilad, who created it with a dedication to Ingo Maurer).

Contemporary chandeliers are an unlimited choice of various forms, sizes, and colors.

In a well-equipped shop, we will buy hanging lamps, which will fit into interiors decorated in different styles, from the most fashionable today: Scandinavian and lofty (industrial), through classic interiors, to rooms decorated in rustic, Provencal or glamorous style.

Chandeliers Over the Centuries

Throughout the centuries, chandeliers have taken on various forms: from simple suspended circles to sophisticated, piling up constructions.

However, whatever the solution, the goal was one: to ensure optimal light distribution.

This was the focus of the attention of both medieval artists and present designers.

Modern Chandeliers

Contemporary chandeliers take on various, often fancy forms.

However, despite the revolution in lighting design, which was electricity, and the time that has passed since the creation of the first chandeliers, we can still see the thread connecting the oldest with the latest.

Chandeliers have a long history, much longer than the light bulb and electricity: its origins go back to the dark ages.

The object that is the first example of today’s chandeliers originates from the Middle Ages.

It was a polycandelon known for its Byzantine art, dating from around the V-VI centuries.

 It had the form of a metal, flat, openwork disc with hinged arms.

 Such chandelier could hold up to sixteen candles.

 VI & XV 

Byzantine polycandelon from the 6th century.

Initially, chandeliers were used for churches and residences of the mighty. These were simple forms made of wood or metal.

These archaic chandeliers can be seen in several museums today. They have been preserved thanks to the fact that they were made of durable metal, unlike their later counterparts.

The earliest chandeliers were usually two crossed beams with a spike for a candle at each end. Initially, they were only hung in churches.

In private homes, the first chandeliers began to appear in palaces and mansions of the wealthy.

In addition to the simple cross, a round form of the Byzantine Polycandylion was developed.

Like a wheel to a wagon, metal circles were formed, and candles were attached to them.

In the Renaissance, the form of the circle was improved and enriched, e.g., by more levels and decorations.

It was not just a matter of decoration, but also of practicality: to create space for as many candles as possible and to reduce wax dripping directly onto the floor.

Around 1750 to 1820

With the arrival of the Baroque, the chandeliers were designed with glory and richness. 

The exuberant constructions, designed to enhance the impression of luxury, were hung in palaces.

 Crystal chandeliers gave not only more light, but also more splendor.

Those produced by Baccarat are still popular to this day.

Since the 15th century, chandeliers could be found not only in magnate residences but also in wealthy merchants’ houses, and cheaper wooden chandeliers could be found in less wealthy households.

Pictures by Flemish and Dutch masters show sophisticated forms of baroque chandeliers, which were made with mirrors, glossy brass tiles, and reflecting crystals.

They were made to achieve greater brilliance by reflecting and refracting light on decorative elements.

Finally, for this reason, chandeliers were made entirely of glass.

They were made on the Venetian island of Murano from around 1700, from inflatable glass, which was given a sophisticated shape.

1946 – 2002 

Italian designer and architect Gio Ponti designed the Murano glass model for Venini.

Colorful chandeliers were rare in the past. Birdie chandelier with winged bulbs, designed by Ingo Maurer, is a brave design, but at the same time, created with a pinch of salt.

In the production of richly decorated chandeliers, next to the Italians, the French led the way. 

French crystal chandeliers Baccarat, which sometimes took on an excessive size and reached the appropriate weight, are very well known.

Soon, however, a revolution was to come: electricity.

Electric Chandeliers

When the electric chandeliers appeared, the functional advantages of the previous crystal chandeliers lost their importance.

Reflective elements became unnecessary, and the growing middle class needed more accessible models, both in terms of scale and price.

The chandeliers spread for good at the beginning of the 20th century. 

However, Art Déco and the Arts&Crafts movement preferred other forms of lighting, such as sconces or desk lamps.

Therefore, the first half of the century in the design of chandeliers did not bring significant changes.

The Year 2010

Dear Ingo chandelier by Ron Gilad was designed with dedication to Ingo Maurer. Gilad used the form of a famous lamp, which he multiplied.

It was only after the Second World War that the hunger for fresh forms was born, which brought chandeliers back to life in the works of such designers as Gino Sarfatti, Achille Castiglione, Gio Ponti, and Ingo Maurer.

Ponti designed for the Venini steelworks, for which he created a series of colorful chandeliers in the 1940s.

The German Ingo Maurer experimented with various forms and motifs, including the Birdie model with winged light bulbs.

It was created by Dutch designer Rodi Graumans for Droog Design and is a symbolic reference to the origin of all chandeliers.

85 bulbs. A chandelier made up of a bunch of light bulbs that bring to mind flat polycandelon.

It can be said that history has made a circle, and after years of domination of enthusiastic forms, there has been a return to simple and functional solutions.

The Oldest Lights Were Natural Holes in the Rock Walls.

Since around 3000 BC, ceramic and, over time, metal vessels have been made for this purpose.

Since the second millennium B.C., there were known in Egypt wicks woven from flax and hemp.

The oil lamps remained almost unchanged until the end of the 18th century, when the Swiss chemist Aime Argand improved its burner between 1782 and 1784, bringing air into the wick.

In 1792 a Scotsman, Wiliam Murdock invented a gas lamp, used mainly for lighting streets in London (1809), Paris (1819), and other cities of Europe and North America.

The first electric lamps were arched lamps, using the phenomenon of the electric arc.

The Frenchman L. Deleuil gave the first public demonstration of the arched lamp in 1843 at the Consent Square in Paris, and his compatriot Henri Archereau used arched lamps to illuminate shows and the opera in Paris in 1848.

Because the distance between the ends of the electrodes increased as the wires were scorched and the arc lamp extinguished, an attempt was made to solve this by using clock mechanisms, which gradually brought the electrodes closer to each other.

Only the lamp improved by Russian Pavel N. Jabloczkov was an entirely useful arched lamp.

In 1853 the kerosene lamp invented by the Lviv pharmacist Ignacy Lukasiewicz was also used by many people.

A light bulb has become an entirely practical electric lamp suitable for lighting, even small rooms. 

It has been tried to be created since 1840, but it was only the American Thomas A. Edison who created its useful form in 1879.


  •  Electron tube with screening grid – Walter Schottky – 1886-1976 (Switzerland)
  •  Fluorescent lamp – 1879 – Thomas A. Edison (USA)
  •  Mining lamp – 1815 – George Stephenson (England)
  •  Kerosene lamp – 1853 – Ignacy Łukasiewicz (Poland)
  •  Electron tube (diode) – 1904 – John Ambrose Fleming (United Kingdom)
  •  Neon lamp (fluorescent lamp) – 1910 – Georges Claude (France)
  •  X-ray tube – 1916 – William D. Coolidge (France)
  •  Mercury lamp – 1912 – Peter Cooper Hewitt (USA)
  •  Lamp (gas) – 1913 – Irving Langmuir (USA)

Before you go, check this out! I have lots more on the site to show you. You’ve only seen one page. Check these posts which are awesome

  • Do LED Lights Attract Silverfish?
    When we wake up at night the last thing we want to see on the wall above our heads, or in the toilet are …silverfishes. They look scary, ugly and
  • Best Vintage Hanging Lamps For Any Space
    When you wish to decorate your space, vintage lamps are a perfect choice. Vintage lamps are available in various styles and designs, which makes them appropriate for different spaces like
  • Can a Floor Lamp Light a Room?
    There is many different ways to light your room. Of course, everyone has their own preference. Some people like hanging lamps while other people prefer floor lamps. Whichever one you
  • Are Spiders Attracted to LED Lights?
    As you may have experienced yourself, most bugs are attracted to light sources. This can be very annoying. You might wonder, does this also count for spiders? So I did
  • How To Make Lamps Baby Proof?
    Having a newborn baby is a major, beautiful moment in life. We understand that you want to be perfectly prepared for this period of your life. The safety of your

Recent Posts