Chandelier Glossary

Glossary or Terms

The world of chandeliers can be confusing so we have put together a glossary of terms to provide illumination of this black art. Only some of these terms are used in this site but the glossary provides a useful general reference guide.

  • Arm:- The chandelier part which holds the lamp holder and bulb which is normally made from glass or metal.
  • Arm Plate:- Where the arm attaches to the chandelier there is normally a plate with an array of holes one for each arm known as the arm plate.
  • Bag:- A style of chandelier made by suspending a ring of crystal chains normally from a circular ring and then attached to a central piece underneath. A chandelier bag is often fond on a regency style.
  • Bead:- A glass or crystal trimming in the shape of a drop which has a hole drilled through the middle
  • Baluster:- Centre part of the chandelier
  • Bobeche:- This is often know as the candle dish which lies below the lamp holder. In olden days this would have been the areas where the wax dripped from the candles was collected.
  • Cage:- Rather than having a central rod there can sometimes be a frame structure known as a cage which then leaves the central region clear for lights. This has the benefit of leaving the central region open for candles or other embellishments.
  • Crown:- A crown shaped chandelier often gilded of made from brass with ornamental features.
  • CanopyAn inverted shallow dish at the top of a chandelier from which festoons of beads are often suspended also often used to cover electrics.
  • Chain PliersSpecial pliers which actually operate in the reverse direction to most pliers to allow the chandelier chain links to be opened and closed.
  • Crystal:- Glass with lead content that gives it special clarity and sparkle and possesses great beauty hand cut by a craftsman. See our crystal explained section for more details.
  • Drop:- A small crystal or glass piece which is linked by a small metal connector. A chain would be made by taking drops with two holes and connecting them together to form a series. The chain is often referred to as a festoon which is typically connected at either end to a strategic position on the chandelier.
  • Festoon:- The clusters of crystal trimmings which hang down from the chandelier. These can be a few strands or many clusters. Another name for this is a garland.
  • Finial:- The part which attahes to the base of the lighting fixture which normally would be at the base of the arms.
  • Prism:- A crystal trimming which has a regular form with many straight sides.
  • Plate Hook:- A specially designed hook which is welded to a plate which can be connected to a ceiling joist to suspend the chandelier.
  • Rod:- A rod which attaches to the top of the chain and then to the ceiling hook. The chandelier canopy then slides up this to cover the electrics
  • Regency Style Chandelier:- These tend to be large chandeliers with a multitude of trimmings. Strings of beads which diminish in size attached to the top of the canopy cascade down from a circular metal support for the arms. Below this is a bag with has concentric circles of pointed beads forming a waterfall.
  • Sconce:- A cover for a lamp or light bulb often designed as a lantern. These are a very standard part on wall lights with one sconce for every arm.
  • Spire:- An upright spear of crystal or glass which can have a round section or be pointed. The chandelier arms are often attached to this part. This would typically be made from from wood, metal or glass.
  • Tent:- A structire at the top of the chandelier to which crystal chains or festoons are draped rather mimicing the shape or a tent. The chains are normally ran through a ring to provide an elegant shape.
  • Waterfall:- A style of chandelier which has an abundance of cascading crystals often as concentric circles forming an elaborate flowing pattern.
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