Old v New Chandelier

Should you wonder whether to buy an old chandelier or new one, please read this article to get some pointers.


Advantages of old chandeliers

  • may be cheaper
  • may have interesting history – the chandelier below belonged to an empress.



Disadvantage of old chandeliers

  • The time factor – I suppose it depends on how much time do you have on your hands to go around antique shops to find the right chandelier as apposed to going on the internet to find a new one.
  • Great deal of old chandeliers are patted together – two damaged chandeliers are made into one. Recently I have cleaned a chandelier that was purchased in Rome for good money which had five original arms and five arms that evidently came from a much smaller chandelier and alternating these misshaped the chandelier.  Attempts were made to hide this fact by overloading the chandelier by a great deal of crystal chains and trimmings. There is nothing wrong with this practice as long as the final client is aware of this fact and is OK with it.
  • Crystals on the older chandeliers are what I call aged – scratched and chipped due to incorrect storage, careless cleaning or any other manipulation that took place during the years.



Also look at the quality of the crystals as you may be paying more than you should for the given quality.

  • Electrical wiring – often the seller leaves the rewiring responsibilities to the buyer which is, unless you are an electrician,  can be a rather time consuming affair. Not only  have you spent time on the internet to find someone near you who does these at reasonable price, but you also have to take it there and pick it up again. Before you know it this little job takes  a day out of your life without even asking.
  • Hidden structural faults – we were doing a simple rewiring job and as we lowered the chandelier down we noted a broken structural rod which had to be repaired.  In the workshop we found out that three of the four iron rods were fractured in such a way that they could not be repaired and had to be replaced.  I shall never know how the chandelier held together.  This was actually rather complicated as due to the unusual size of the thread we had to have a tool manufactured in order to replace the rods and the project stretched from 2 to around 10 weeks.



Disadvantage of new chandelier

  • no interesting history


Advantages of new chandeliers

  • not chipped crystal


  • good quality materials – our manufacturers are using brass as base material 
  • good quality finish – as with any progress, manufacturers have improved finishing processes so you have your chandelier like new for longer.
  • no hidden faults – manufacturer one year warranty
  • great selection – nearly all new chandeliers come in variety of sizes and configurations and you will not have any problems finding identical chandeliers should you require more then one chandelier for your room.
  • made to measure – width can easily be adjusted by changing arms for larger or smaller once.
  • choice of finish – you can have any chandelier in either gold, antique gold or nickel finish,




some manufacturers do 23.6 carat gold plating

DSC_0318, ,antique nickel … 

  • choice of crystal quality – most chandeliers can be either in 24-30%PbO, Swarovski Spectra or Swarovski Elements



  • matching wall lights, table lamps and candelabras – most chandeliers have these in one, two, three or five arm option
  • no need to rewire
  • buy from reputable manufacturer
  • easy to get spare parts


I have not included the more generic points such as the manufacturer.  There were good and bad manufacturers hundred years ago as is the case now.  An old chandelier from top manufacturer will look as if it was made yesterday whereas newish chandelier from poor quality manufacturer will look bad well before its time. 

So keep your eyes open what ever you are buying and if in doubt make yourself a list like mine.



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