The Chandelier Restoration Task
We were invited to a historic building which was full of heritage and told fabulous stories regarding the history by the man in charge. But as interesting as this all was our task, as I am sure you can guess, was to examine the chandeliers and identify what could be done to return them to their former glory. Now there is no doubt that the chandeliers were magnificent and of high quality but they were so dirty that they were not distinguishable as grand traditional chandeliers. The first step for us is always to examine the chandeliers very carefully to assess the task to be done. A cleaning job if done properly will always involve removing all the crystals and a rewiring job does require that the entire chandelier is dismantled. It is therefore imperative to assess what steps are needed to dismantle and as to whether certain parts will need replacing as part of this process. Clearly with a traditional chandelier as these then it is an object of great value and beauty and must be treated accordingly.
There were a number of Chandeliers to be cleaned but I will concentrate here on the example of one needing full chandelier restoration.
The Chandelier before Restoration.
As you can see this chandelier was without doubt a true beauty but had been left for many years to gather dust from the point at which the rewiring became non functional. It was to be found situated in the library but alas not there to illuminate the readers but just as a show item and a memory of the days gone by. The level of dirt accumulated was immense and on closer inspection the chain links were largely beyond repair. Merely picking up a chain which cascades down from the top would cause the linkages to pop open and more crystals were in danger of dropping to the floor. Additionally the wiring had disintegrated to such and extent that it was not possible for the non expert to say whether the chandelier had electric wiring or whether it was just in its original state and being used with candles.
The Finished Product after Chandelier Cleaning and Chandelier Restoration
Chandelier Cleaning was a major task to be undertaken for this restoration. This involves the meticulous disassembly of the chandeliers cleaning the individual crystals and then re-hanging them back on the traditional chandelier. Invariably during this part of the chandelier restoration process then links will be broken and will need to be replaced with the correct links and put in place with specialist tools and special connection techniques. As you can see the result of the chandelier cleaning was simply spectacular and the old dirty crystals now sparkle like they did centuries ago when this chandelier was made.
The other part in the equation for this chandelier restoration project was the chandelier rewiring. This chandelier does not just have the nine visible bulbs which are situated at the ends of the arms but another hand full on delicate arms inside the chandelier to case light onto the crystal chains. This meant the chandelier rewiring was more complicated because the new wires not only needed routing through the external arms but the internal ones as well. Also invariably old wiring standards did not need earth connections which then makes the chandelier rewiring more difficult because extra wires need to be ran through narrow channels where they were not before to improve electrical safety. So quite a lot of detailed work, in fact arguably a labor of love! But you judge for yourself do you think it was worth it?