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Antique Cabinets - Item 9203
Gothic Lighting Fixture

9203-dragon-chandelier

(scroll down for additional photos -- differences in color are due to flash)
 
Item 9203 Gothic Lighting Fixture
Dimensions Width 30, Height 31 (in inches)
Wood Pine with walnut finish
Country France
Date Circa 1935
Price $3,495
Description

 We pride ourselves on being America's only French antique specialists in furniture and accessories for castles, chateaus and country houses, where the old world look of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance and their kindred styles of Louis XIII and the country French appearance of some Louis XIV furniture, provide the look of warmth and continuity that so many seek.  So, naturally, when this unusual chandelier became available from one of our partners in France, we had to have it, in order to make it available to our clients!
The dragon chandelier was a phenomenon in Europe, and in France in particular in the 1920s through the early war years. They usually have 6 arms (dragons) that have colored glass lanterns or base up light bulbs, covered with a small lamp shade, that come out of the mouths of the dragons. This one, like
  others, had deteriorated wiring and lamp shades which had to be replaced. Unfortunately, lamp shades for base up lamps in chandeliers are simply not available anywhere, except as custom-made items at rather substantial cost. So in order to make the chandelier useable in the United States, we had to re-wire and re-engineer the light sockets and shades. In order to make it functional, to contain the wire in the small space afforded by the central column, and to join all six sets of wires, we had to use small gauge wire with thin insulation which may deteriorate more rapidly due to rising heat from the lamps. This wire will safely accommodate light bulbs of up to 50 watts each, yielding a total amount of light equal to about 300 watts. We also anticipate that the chandelier will be controlled by a dimmer that can be set so that the light is decreased, as is the heat. However, the heat from any lamps will cause the wiring to become brittle eventually, and need replacement. This was the problem with these chandeliers in the first place. The wire had deteriorated directly above the light bulb, due to the heat.
It is our estimation that the chandelier will give its owner many years of use and enjoyment, with somewhat infrequent use, and not long hours of operation. We have found that the brighter the light coming out of each bulb, the more the human eye's iris closes down, and restricts the ability to discern details of the dragons. If one uses the newer LED and mini-fluorescent candelabra base lamps in the sockets, there is no heat, and so, virtually no deterioration!
  So to see them best, the light needs to be relatively dim. After all, the beauty of the piece is the tone the dragons set for the room as they hang from the ceiling even if they are not illuminated. We installed new sockets and canopies coming out of the dragon's mouths, ending in a canopy which will accommodate any glass ceiling fan style shade with a 2 1/4" fitter.
The chandelier is made of what we estimate to be a soft wood such as pine, but has been finished so as to resemble dark French walnut. The wings on the dragons soar as they diffuse the light, and add dimensionality to the carving. Each of the dragon's feet is attached to a large wooden turning, out of which arises a carved central column in the shape of acanthus leaves. The faces of the fierce dragons, with detailed ears, eyes and mouths, as well as the carved details of the bodies and wings, create the perfect Gothic or Medieval look in the appropriate setting.
 

Reference

Boccador, Jacqueline, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, Editions d'Art Monelle Hayot (Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, 1988); Thirion, Jacques, Le Mobilier du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance en France (Editions Faton, Dijon, 1998)
 

Uses

 Perfect for wine cellars, dining rooms and any location where the dragons add their mystery and awe to any décor.

 

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