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Chandelier

workshop of Unknown

Category

Glass

Date

1900 - 1925

Materials

Glass, Metal

Measurements

880 mm (Height); 750 mm (Diameter)

Place of origin

Venice

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Collection

The Homewood, Surrey

NT 864491

Caption

The Homewood was designed and built by Patrick Gwynne for his parents. His father Naval Commander Alban Gwynne chose this chandelier for the house. His parents would have “one good year” in the house before dying early in World War Two.

Summary

Chandelier, clear, blue, yellow and green coloured glass, blown and pincered, six arms and central sections, with leaf and flower decoration, metal attachements. Probably made in Murano, Venice (Italy), about 1900-1925.

Full description

When this chandelier was made, about 1900, Venetian glassmakers were experiencing a revival of commercial success, producing glass with with with bright colours, using modern formulations and technology. This type of lighting design, based on 18th-century examples, continued to be made throughout the 20th century for both public and domestic settings. They were often bought as expensive tourist souvenirs. The island of Murano, Venice, has been a centre of glass production since the 7th century. Glass became the most important Venetian export commodity from about the 13th century onwards. Glassmakers developed innovative techniques such as fine colourless glass with a high silica content, which was particularly suited to detailed manipulation when hot. Chandeliers of this type, with elaborate blown and pincered decoration, began being produced in the 18th century and were highly desirable across Italy and Europe. Giuseppe Briati (1686 - 1772) was one of the most skilled glassmakers specialising in these chandeliers and later versions, such as this example at The Homewood, emulate his accomplished designs.

Provenance

Patrick Gwynne's father saw the chandelier in the house of his osteopath who had a sideline in antiques, it was bought in Sweden. Gwynne recalls "My father told me, I have found a chandelier and I wondered whether it would go? I thought, oh Lord! as I thought it would be the wrong thing, for a moment. But when I saw it I thought it would be absolutely marvellous."

Makers and roles

workshop of Unknown , maker

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