How do I Choose the Best Antique Chandelier?

Diane Goettel

When choosing between antique chandeliers, it is important to consider size and aesthetic quality as well as how much upkeep the chandeliers require. Chandeliers can vary quite a bit in size. Those that were originally created for grand foyers or large ballrooms are likely to be much too small for a bathroom or an intimate dining room. Smaller chandeliers that were originally created for smaller settings may seem out of scale if they are hung in large rooms or large entries. Before purchasing an antique chandelier, it is best to take measurements of the space where the chandelier will hang.

Large antique chandeliers can be difficult to clean and maintain and may require rewiring for modern electrical systems.
Large antique chandeliers can be difficult to clean and maintain and may require rewiring for modern electrical systems.

It is also important to consider the historical details of an antique chandelier, especially if it is meant to match an aesthetic that is intended to reflect a certain era. Most reputable antiques dealers will be able to identify a time frame during which an antique chandelier was originally manufactured and a probably country of origin. A person who is searching for an antique chandelier to outfit a dining room in a restored Victorian home, for example, should be able to find one made during that design era.

The maintenance and upkeep of an antique chandelier are also important to consider. The larger and older a chandelier, the more likely it is to present maintenance challenges. A very old antique chandelier is likely to present electrical issues. These sorts of chandeliers may have to be rewired in order to work properly with modern electrical systems. A very large chandelier, especially one that includes many intricate pieces, will require a complex cleaning procedure that may require a great deal of time and care.

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There are some antiques companies that will rewire chandeliers for their customers for an additional fee. It is also possible to hire professionals to clean a chandelier. This service adds to the cost of owning an antique chandelier. These two factors sometimes encourage people to purchase smaller chandeliers that are not quite so old as to need major rewiring.

Finally, one may consider purchasing a reproduction of an antique chandelier. Although a reproduction is not an authentic antique, it is likely to be much easier to install. Furthermore, it is sometimes possible to purchase scaled-down replicas of antique chandeliers. This means that one can enjoy the general look of a grand chandelier without having to spend so much effort on cleaning.

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