Art Deco chandeliers

The History of Art Deco Chandeliers

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Art Deco is a type of design famous for its use of geometric shapes, natural elements, and rich materials. This design melds with modern architectural choices to create a rich space in your home or office. Within this unique style, an indelible mark was made on architecture, furniture, jewelry, fashion, interior design, and lighting.

The History of Art Deco Chandeliers

Art Deco chandeliers have a captivating history reflecting the spirit of their era. The Art Deco movement emerged in France during the 1920s, reflecting the opulence of that era. It was a time of optimism, indulgence, and a desire for modernity. Of course, that also included lighting. To light big spaces, chandeliers were used. Lifted high to the ceiling, they gave a significant amount of light while also providing a sense of lavishness, elegance, sophistication, and a touch of glamour.

At the turn of the 20th century, Classical Revival lighting dominated, characterized by ornate details inspired by 17th-century French glamour. These lights featured intricate motifs, like filigree and acanthus leaves. The shift to electrical lighting allowed for exposed bulb designs. While not as bright as today’s lighting, this was still a chance to showcase the new technology.

In the 1920s and 1930s, like everything else, lighting also underwent the Art Deco transformation, leading to the streamlined yet whimsical style associated with Art Deco. Its chandeliers reflected the era in pieces that were seen by everyone who entered a home or business.

As electrical light bulbs became brighter, a need for shades that allowed natural, defused light became apparent.

Elements of Art Deco Lighting

Today, Art Deco lighting reflects the intricate detail and high-quality materials of that era. There are a range of subsets in design and style. However, these lights and chandeliers share some similar characteristics, including:

  • Glass panels obscuring the light bulb
  • Faceted forms with stepped fan details
  • Cascading tiered silhouettes, large-scale fixtures
  • Slipper-style shades, ornately cast etched glass detailing

There are also several subsets of the Art Deco aesthetic. High Art Deco is defined by the use of high-quality materials and intricate manufacturing; geometric or botanical motifs and streamlined silhouettes; and oversized designs ideal for large gathering spaces.

Streamline aesthetic, on the other hand, feature aerodynamic modern silhouettes with minimal detailing and clean lines, along with a standard scale ideal for everyday use.

Chandeliers from this era also feature bold, contrasting colors. While black and white are common, vibrant shades of blue, red, and green can also be found. A chandelier with blue glass can cast a cool and calm light but red glass can create a warm, inviting glow.

At the Paul Stamati Gallery, we offer elegant Art Deco chandeliers that can contribute a unique design to any space. Contact us today to learn more about the different lighting options available.

Paul Stamati Gallery specializes in 20th Century decorative arts and is the world’s leading source for Art Deco lighting by Lalique.