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A Guide to Antique Chandeliers, Sconces, and Other Lighting Fixtures

If you want to create a stunning, historical look in your home, then consider antique lighting. You can choose between a variety of styles, like chandeliers and sconces, to create a customized look. Many different choices of antique chandeliers for sale are available on eBay, and here are some factors you may wish to consider when selecting one for your home.

What are some types of antique light fixtures?

When electricity became commonly available in homes, designers soon started creating many different light fixtures. Some of the earliest pieces are done in brass and were large, functional pieces. You can often find brass chandeliers that have been converted to electricity but originally held candles. Another choice in antique light fixtures is metal chandeliers with intricate patterns and detail work. Collectors often put a premium on those designed to reflect light. Many circular chandeliers are highly prized because of their simple geometric design. Many older chandeliers were made with smaller bulbs, with smaller ends that screw into the socket.

Design styles of antique lighting fixtures

People have embraced many different lighting styles throughout history. About 1860, people started turning to gas and kerosene. Even if you prefer the luxury of using electricity, you can find many converted or reproduced lighting fixtures. There are many antique chandeliers on eBay from different design eras. Some of these design periods were reflected in lighting, including the following:

  • Rococo: Many designers, inspired by Italianate architecture, created intricate brass lights with cut-glass shades. Many antique brass chandeliers featured chains often decorated with brass leaves.
  • Renaissance Revival: Castings, often featuring human forms, were intricately designed from brass, bronze, or spelter.
  • Neo-grec: Lights became much more simple during this period with many featuring fine scrolling motifs.
  • Eastlake: Following the lead of Charles Locke, design elements on an antique chandelier became much flatter.
  • Empire: Cast-polished and red brass highlighted this period. Many antique chandeliers feature filigreed wreaths, ribbons, and garlands.
Prominent lighting manufacturers from the early 1900s

There are many lighting manufacturers from the turn of the century that you may want to consider when shopping for antique light fixtures on eBay. Ted Stiffel of Stiffel Lamps made of stainless steel, brass, bronze or pewter are often highly valued. Most had silk shantung shades. You may also want to watch for pieces from Louis Poulsen. Many collectors look for his three-shade system. Another manufacturer that many collectors watch for is George Kovaks, who created the ubiquitous halogen torchieres.

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