An early 19th century Prussian metal mounted giltwood eight light chandelier designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, having a central reeded giltwood column with circular double corona mounted with gilt lead leaf crestings and hung with cut glass pendent prisms, the lower larger corona with later brass acorn finial and eight wrought iron hoop arms below, supporting the outer octagonal moulded giltwood ring, finely applied with textured lace, hung with cut glass prisms and mounted with gilt lead anthemion crestings; each rounded protruding corner issuing a gilt brass scroll candle arm with foliate nozzle hung with conforming cut glass prisms.
This outstanding chandelier has retained almost all the original gilt surface. The outside of the chandelier is water gilt whilst the interior, including the wrought iron, is silvered and then tinted yellow. The subtle colour difference between the outer and inner surfaces testifies to Schinkel’s attention to detail. The fine lace applied to the moulded outer ring adds texture to the water gilt surface. The use of different materials for components of the chandelier reflects Schinkel’s passion for exploring new production methods. He often oversaw the manufacture of his projects in person and in great detail.
Sadly, many of Schinkel’s chandelier designs perished in World War II, but a sketch of a very similar chandelier has survived.
Height 96.5 cm (38″)
Diameter 91.5 cm (36″)
Literature Johannes Sievers, Karl Friedrich Schinkel Lebenswerk Die Moebel, 1950, illus. 78, 221 & 238.
H. Parrott Bacot, Nineteenth Century Lighting – Candle Powered Devices 1783-1883, 1987, p. 240, illus. 345.
Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide, Wolfram Koeppe and William Rieder, European Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006, pp. 226-9.