Lighting

Saving A Glittering Beauty!

I was in a antique store and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a large crystal chandelier sitting casually on a  sofa.

This is SO not a way to treat a crystal chandelier!

Horrified, I walked quickly to the mistreated beauty and VERY carefully picked it up. It just had to be damaged, and I could only imagine how many customers had, without much care, picked up the chandelier and then let it back down on the sofa. Over and over and over again.

First looking under the chandelier I was startled to find that its crystal finial was intact! HOW could this be with the whole weight of the heavy fixture sitting on something which was not designed to support any weight?

I looked up and slowly swirled the fixture around. It seemed, somehow, miraculously, undamaged. I then looked to see how many crystals were missing. None.

How was all this possible? How could such a delicate thing, made of glass, be treated as such and remain undamaged?

My mind now feeling comforted with the knowledge that the chandelier was undamaged, I suddenly became aware that what I was still holding was a very good chandelier. As the many crystals tinkled in the light I saw miniature rainbows fall across the sofa. My mind continued processing: This was an incredibly high quality chandelier.

Well, there was no question what I would do. I had to buy the chandelier if for no other reason than to protect it, no matter the price.

Returning later to my office, I cleaned the many parts, rewired the whole, and hung the chandelier up. It was, indeed, wholly intact with not even a crack or chips. None! I kept staring at this glittering beauty and its high quality shown ever brighter. The sense of astonishment tingled my skin.

The good deed of saving this beauty was soon rewarded when, after listing the fixture for sale online, I received an email letting me know that the chandelier was by Weiss and Biheller. I had never heard of the company but a quick Google search revealed that Weiss and Biheller had been creating chandeliers since the nineteenth century. The company, known for the quality of its work, was, remarkably, still in business.

I emailed back and asked how the person knew the chandelier was by Weiss and Biheller?

The reply: “I own the company.”

Oh. Oh!

It was apparent that I had purchased an object not just of great beauty and quality, but something rare and precious, too.

 

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The five glass S-shaped arms have notches wheel-cut into the glass.

 

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There are five additional arms which leap into the air. These hold a glass (not plastic!) ring. The ring in turn holds double strands which swag out to the other arms. Elegant. Stunning!

 

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Instead of the standard glass sphere the chandelier has an intricate glass spear!

 

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The candle covers are not plastic. Nor cardboard. They are glass! Yes, glass! I’ve never seen this before!

 

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Soooooo gorgeous.

 

 

 

My online vintage lighting store.

12 Responses to Saving A Glittering Beauty!

  1. This is my wife’s chandelier we had restored in Kansas City. Before I knew about you Ross. They did a great job but I don’t know the manufacturer. It is at least 50 years old.

  2. My roommate’s old house (a huge, almost completely intact early 20th Century twin with bikes in the living room) has gas fixtures with glass candle covers.

    • The glass gas candle slips are extremely hard to find. I got SUPER DUPER lucky on eBay a couple months ago and found a set of 6, yes SIX matching slips, in BLUE! I was able to compete my matched set of combination sconces, as well as my 4/4 gas-elec chandelier. I was STOKED! I then promptly had to go hunting for 6 matching blue ELECTRIC shades. It took me a few months, but I just recently found the last one. It makes me so happy every time I walk in the room and see them all glittering on the ceiling.

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