The Cross House was built in 1894, and with gas/electric lighting.
At some point however ALL the original lighting was removed from the house. I am waiting for a time-travel app on my iPhone so I can go back in time and slap the person who made this decision.
Even though I restore vintage lighting for a living, I specialize in lighting from about 1915 to the 1970s. Lighting from the 1890s? I know essentially nothing about it.
However, I do love a learning curve.
This is the type of chandelier which would have graced the main rooms in the Cross House. Note the combination of gas/electric (the gas faces UP; the electric DOWN). The problem with such fixtures is that they are crazy expensive. Like $5,000 to $8,000. Well, no way!
I am not going for a museum-perfect decor. Over a century has passed since the Cross House was built and this passage of time will be reflected in how I decorate the interior. So, do not be alarmed if a Sputnik chandelier lands in one room. For the dining room, I purchased a George III-style crystal chandelier. It is BIG and scaled for the huge room. It was also a bargain at $800.
Still, I look forward to having most of the lighting reflect the age when the house was built. While I cannot afford the scale of fixtures appropriate for the living room, dining room, and library, it seems that smaller fixtures are often amazingly affordable.
A $30 find. I do not think the fixture is vintage. Or maybe it has just been over-restored. But for $30? I am thrilled. This will go in a hall or bathroom. After I remove the gloss lacquer.
This is certainly vintage. I thought it was 1890s, but Bo Sullivan dashed my happiness by pointing out the error of my assumption. He believes the fixture is circa-1905. Sigh. I purchased this for the Long Bedroom. The price was, for me, a scandal: $550.
Another $30 find. The fixture is unusual in having six arms. This, too, is likely more 1904 than 1894. But for $30 I will overlook this.
A $35 find. It is hard to appreciate the fixture from the bad image. I purchased it for the center of the kitchen. The kitchen needed something very simple.
I plan to use these star shades on most of the fixtures. I have a bunch of star shades. The house has a star motif throughout as evidenced in the trim and hardware. So I thought continuing the theme would be cool and appropriate.
I planned to put one over the kitchen sink, and one over the stove. With star shades. The fixtures complement the four-arm fixture shown above. A $150 find. NOTE: The ceiling canopies have settled down.
I think, think, these are circa-1915. I plan to use them on the first-floor of the carriage house, which has a wholly circa-1915 interior (after it was converted from a place for horses). A $225 find. Ouch.
I purchased this for the butler’s pantry. A $66 find.
These five sconces are also likely circa-1904. No matter, I plan to use them in the four-story servants stair tower. I like that each landing will have matching lights (with star shades). A $103 find. Oh, finding such a matched set ain’t easy.
I got three of these. VERY cool. Circa-1904? I plan to use them in hallways. A $250 find.
So, as you have noted, I have not yet actually purchased ANY lighting which can be confirmed as being from the early 1890s. I seem to be finding lighting from a decade later.
I assume that as I learn more, over the years all the above imposteurs will be replaced with confirmed 1890s fixtures, and I will sell the above fixtures.
Save the last image. I love this set.
NOTE: I have an update on this post.