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The history of the chandelier

The chandelier is a fixture which exudes luxury and wealth. It is an item which is associated with wealth and the upper classes and has been for multiple centuries, but has it always had these connotations? We have created a brief history of the chandelier and explored the ways in which it has been used and developed since the 5th century.


Chandeliers have always been associated with the wealthy and upper classes; as such an elaborate piece of decoration, they have never been viewed as a necessary fixture within the home. Although they were regarded as luxury items in the medieval era, they were also used for their functionality. Medieval chandeliers typically consisted of wooden crosses which had spikes attached, candles would then be secured to the spikes and lit. The chandelier was then hoisted to a suitable height to provide light to the room. This simple, wooden example of a chandelier saw the humble beginnings of the chandelier and paved the way for the elaborate examples available today.


From the 15th century, complex and decorative chandeliers became popular within palaces and homes of nobility. As the chandeliers demanded such a high price they quickly became a symbol or luxury, wealth and status. By the 18th century, chandeliers were extremely elaborate; they contained glass, crystal and precious metals and became a sign of extremely high class homes.


Chandeliers still hold connotations of wealth and class even though they have become much more affordable. They used to be expensive to buy; now they are reasonably affordable but take up a large amount of energy and, therefore, money to light. Chandeliers The craft of creating and designing chandeliers has become an art within the modern world. There are many examples of modern, experimental and highly decorative chandeliers made from plastic, old instruments and various other recycled objects. Modern day chandeliers have evolved to rebel against functional, medieval chandeliers and have become, in some cases, completely decorative.

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