Be a bright buyer when purchasing antique lighting
PUBLISHED: 15:33 26 August 2016
Showstopper antique chandeliers sometimes appear at our local auction houses. It's important - regardless of your price range - to be a bright buyer
With one of the largest collections of antique lighting in the country, Fritz Fryer pride themselves on their restoration services and are well known for their talents in restoring the most intricate of pieces.
Director Simon Wallis-Smith says: “All of our chandeliers are restored and rewired to current electrical standards by our highly skilled craftsmen, to ensure the highest quality and safety is maintained. Light fittings are regulated by the Low Voltage Directive and chandeliers are no exception.”
Each piece is brought back to its former glory by undergoing a series of restoration techniques, including repining, rewiring and cleaning. One of their latest projects is a stunning Regency tiered eight branch design. With its ‘wedding cake’ resemblance and hand pinned crystal rule-cut faceted drops, it truly is the definition of luxury and is priced at £26,000.
Buying an antique chandelier can be quite a costly purchase, depending on its condition, age and rarity. Prices can range from £200 to above £20,000, so it is important to plan before investing. Simon advises: “Location is everything – where is the chandelier going? It is surprising how many people purchase an expensive chandelier without carefully thinking about the dimensions, especially the ceiling height. If it’s too small it will look mean and if it’s too large it becomes a hazard, particularly if you have a tall family.”
One of their Regency crystal chandeliers is an exquisite example of early 19th century craftsmanship. With its elegant six ormolu arms decorated with crystal triangular icicle drops, this piece would look very glamorous in a grand drawing room or stairwell and would cost £21,000.
When handling such a delicate light fixture it’s important to take extra care especially whilst transporting. Simon explains: “A chandelier must be supported from above to hold its weight, if rested on the arms, they simply won’t take the weight and will break. You must also beware during installation; this is best done by someone used to handling chandeliers as it is a specialist task.”
Once your prized gem is safely home and in its place, keeping up with its maintenance should be done regularly, every 12-18 months. To help you on your way, Fritz Fryer have step by step instructions online, making it super simple to keep your showstopper in the very best condition.