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What is a Victorian Chandelier?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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A Victorian chandelier is a light fixture that embodies the style that was popular during the reign of Queen Victoria of England, which ranged from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Some specialty stores sell antique light fixtures that actually existed in this time period, but those looking to save money typically buy modern recreations of the Victorian chandelier. The antique types usually run on gas, while contemporary kinds use electricity. Either way, the typical Victorian chandelier is known for being extravagant, usually incorporating glass, crystal, beads, and other decorations that tend to grab attention. Even the lights and metal on such chandeliers tend to stand out, as they are often unique or glossy.

There are various kinds of Victorian chandeliers, as this era is known for the diverse tastes of those who lived through it. Many people created their own interpretations of what they thought was exotic and elegant, which is why most chandeliers of this time were outfitted with several types of decorations, and still are today. These decorations usually include beads, crystals, and ornate metal designs. In fact, it is possible to make a Victorian chandelier at home by taking a basic chandelier and adding decorations like strings of beads or elegantly decorated glass housings for each light bulb, making the fixture stand out easily.

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The Victorian chandelier was traditionally placed in various rooms around the house during this era. The parlor, which was where guests gathered in most Victorian houses, was often seen first, so this kind of chandelier was usually hung in such a room. In modern homes, this type of lighting is more often seen in living rooms, which is also where guests gather and make a first impression of the house. The dining room was, and is still, a good place for this elegant light fixture, as it is often used as the centerpiece above the table.

This type of light fixture may have just four lights on it, or it can have as many as 20 or more for large rooms. The style of the lights varies, ranging from simple exposed bulbs to blown or frosted glass around each one. There is also a range of metal finishes, such as bronze, brass, chrome, gold, or silver. Additionally, most Victorian chandeliers come with an adjustable chain so that the light fixture can hang at the appropriate level depending on ceiling height. Today, there are even miniature chandeliers of this style for smaller rooms, as well as some that are appropriate for placing outdoors.

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