Czech glass is undeniably famous, and it has been for hundreds of years. Archaeologists have confirmed that glassmaking was already a well-established Czech industry as far back as the 9th century, though it really took off about 500 years later.
People of influence all over Europe began taking notice of Bohemian glass in the 17th century. In those days, colourless glass produced in Bohemia was considered extremely pure and excellent for cutting and engraving. This led to Czech glass being in high demand all over the world. At this point, chandeliers from this area were installed in palaces, ballrooms and mansions all over the world. Today, you can find still find specimens of Czech crystal at impressive venues, including at La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera in Rome, the royal residence in Riyadh and the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
The world’s largest Bohemian chandelier is truly a sight to behold. It was given as a gift from Queen Victoria to the Ottoman Empire and is on display in Domabahçe Palace in Istanbul. It weighs a whopping 4.5 tons and features 750 separate lamps. This palace hold the finest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the entire world, but this particular specimen certainly stands out.
Considerations for Installing a Chandelier
There are several considerations that need to be taken into account when you install classical chandeliers in your home, not least the relevant regulations for hanging a heavy fixture of this sort in a residence. Be sure that you are well aware of any regulations that apply in your situation.
Furthermore, take the following into account:
• What will it hang from?
First of all, bear in mind that chandeliers are intended to be hung from high ceilings. The light that they give off will not be sufficient if the fixture is too low to the ground. Ideally, the lower part of your chandelier should hang roughly 2.5 metres above the ground. Most pieces hang from a single hook and eye, but this will probably not be included with the actual chandelier. Varying conditions dictate the need for different hooks, so you may need to talk to a specialist or contractor first.
• Will the room be ready when the chandelier arrives?
Once the actual piece arrives, you will want to install it as quickly as possible. Every day that it sits around at ground level is a day that the chandelier could be damaged or broken. These are big fixtures, and they can certainly get in the way, as well.
• How will you actually install it?
This may seem like too obvious of a consideration, but you need to put some thought into this. Installing a chandelier is tricky business, and it’s anything but straightforward. Needless to say, you’ll need the help of a contractor, who should check to make sure your structural supports are sufficient to hang the fixture in the first place. Scaffolding is certainly going to be required, so if you are currently in the middle of a building or remodelling project, make a point of leaving the scaffolding up until this is taken care of.
• How difficult will maintenance be?
This is an essential consideration, and it’s easy to lose sight of this one in the excitement of hanging your chandelier. You (or someone else) will need to be able to periodically clean the glass as well as repair or install lamps. Plan on doing this at least once per year. To that end, pay attention to how furniture and other fixtures in the room may complicate this process.