Some Background This magnificent french chateau has been acquired by an English couple with a dream to restore it and open it to the public as a Hotel. You might look at the picture like I did and say that looks fine and need no restoration but be assured behind this postcard picture is a great deal of hard work to get the chateau ready for guests. Now our involvement has been that Anne the proud new owner acquired 2 of the original chandeliers from the chateau in a local French auction and was keen to have them restored to be placed back into their original positions within this building of beauty. However it was not quite as simple as that as you can see from this image of the chandelier . Firstly , the chandelier was bent and covered in a mass of dirt and most significantly had no electrics for illumination appart from a single flex holding a single globe light bulb! But not to shy away from a challenge we took on the task of re-engineering the chandeliers to restore them to their former glory.
The Chandelier Restoration Task The chandelier restoration task here was initial to derive a strategy for taking this item of old but classic beauty and transforming it into a fully functional electric chandelier. The first task was chandelier cleaning to task the ornate brasswork and clean away the unwanted dirt but to keep the aged appearance so the finished chandelier would look like a classic piece and not a brand new one. From here we then worked through a plan to attach lamp holders into the candle holders and then through some intricate drilling a routing of wired link all the lamp holder back to the central hub. As there was no opportunity to route the wires inside the arms as on a chandelier that is made for electrical illumination this entailed using surface mounted wiring and soldered and sleeved joints to minimise their visibility. Once the wiring was linked back to the hub it was then possible by dismantling the chandelier to connect the wires internally and then route up to the chain using braided wire carefully chosen to match the tone of the brass work. This style of wiring is always a fine balance between achieving a functional working chandelier yet preserving its beauty and character so it can be adored for years to come. And last but not least it needs to produce an adequate level of illumination for the space and to allow residents and guests to read and socialise in an appropriately lit environment.
So why not visit the Chateau and see the Chandeliers for yourself!
The Chateau de l’Oseraie is situated in the village of Chemire sur Sarthe, 49640 and is opening for guests in 2012 so if you are looking for some authentic french style then why do you not go and stay. The ares in france is Fresnay S/Sarthe 72130.
Anne and Chris Mandale would be pleased to hear from you and can be contacted on tel: +33 (0) 2 42 86 15 92 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org so why not drop them a line.
And if you do go and stay please let us know what you think of the chandeliers!