Chandeliers are light fixtures that usually hang from great heights to illuminate an entrance or dining room. Chandeliers can be dated back to the 16th century when they were used with candles made from animal fat. These chandeliers were soon found in large homes of the wealthy and were used as an efficient way to light the main hall. The different parts of a chandelier are easily identifiable.
Things You'll Need
- Diagram of chandelier parts (see references)
Turn the light switch off to the chandelier. Place a ladder beneath the chandelier and climb to the chandelier's height.
Look at the top of the chandelier to begin identifying the parts. The very top piece that sits against the ceiling is called the collar or canopy. Below the canopy is a small chain that connects to a bracket that closely resembles a candlestick holder.
See the body dish just below the bracket. This dish is a a saucer shaped piece that braces the entire body structure, thus the name. The body dish may have decorations such as jewels or carved leaves. Below the body dish is the fount piece. This part appears as a flattened ball often decorated with beveled indentations around the surface.
Look at the body dish once more and see the chains that run from the base of the dish to the individual bulbs or candles. If there are two layers of lights, the chains for the first layer will come from the body dish. Between the individual lights and the body dish is a column that runs down the center of the chandelier structure. The arms of the individual lights come from the bottom bowl attached at the base of the column.
See the base of the chandelier and find the reverse dish and bottom ball. The reverse dish sits below the bottom bowl and looks just like the body dish, only in reverse. The bottom ball is the final piece that hangs at the lowest point from the ceiling. The base may also be decorated with jewels or prisms around the base of the reverse dish that dangle around the bottom ball.
Inspect the individual candles or lights for their intricate parts. Bellow each candle is the candle cup that holds the light in place. Under the candle cup is a bobeche, a charm or jewel that dangles as a decoration. The pendalogue is the final charm that sits below the candle arm from a chain connecting to the bottom bowl. This pendalogue is a large charm that adds to the ornamental flare of the chandelier.
Tips & Warnings
- The hanging chandelier inspired Galileo to create his law of the pendulums.
- Be careful when examining the chandelier. Be sure that the power is off, and you are using a sturdy ladder to stabilize yourself at the height of the lighting fixture. If you have any doubts, take the chandelier down and inspect it from the floor.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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