The History of the Baron Chandelier 0
We have great pride in our original designs, but we also find joy in creating reproductions. There is something satisfying about being able to recreate things of beauty from our past.
Over the many, many years we have been building crystal chandeliers, we have been called upon to work on any reproduction projects. One of our favorites was for Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.
The building itself is impressive! Originally built in 1888 by Henry Flagler as the Alcazar Hotel, it has been through a few variations and purposes over the years, but is now, most spectacularly, the Lightner Museum. (You can read more about the building at visitstaug.com and at https://lightnermuseum.org/history.)
Also in 1888, Mr. Flagler built the Ponce de Leon Hotel, across the street from the Alcazar Hotel. The Ponce de Leon Hotel is currently the heart of Flagler College and home of these beauties, the inspiration for our Baron chandelier:
Compare the instagram capture above to this great old photo:
And the history in this photo!
In the early 1990's we were approached by Lightner Museum about reproducing these chandeliers for the current phase of their amazing restoration journey.
With a few little changes and the blessing of all involved, we decided to keep the chandelier in our line of crystal reproductions and named it, fittingly, the Baron. It remains one of my favorite chandeliers.
If you haven't visited The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, you are really missing out on a fascinating collection of artwork and antiques. You will find updated exhibits along with learning experiences and an awesome staff of knowledgeable volunteers. Tell them the folks at King's Chandelier sent you!
Golden Oldies 0
When I clean out a drawer around here, I find the best things! I love these old photos from what must be the late Fifties. These lovelies were in some of our early catalogs showing the larger crystal chandeliers.
I'm not sure of the house and exactly who every one is... though the handsome man in the tuxedo is Durward King.
Although I don't recognize all of the people, I do recognize some of the furniture as pieces that found their way to our showroom over the years. Those pieces were meant to last generations - just like our chandeliers.
I think it is true that we humans connect over “things”. As much as we don’t want to admit that inanimate commercial goods are important to us, they are essential to so many of our memories.
Over the years we have heard beautiful reminisces and reflections of crystal chandeliers past, and I have seen how they play a large part in our connections to each other.
Once upon a time, a young man in his early 20’s, fresh out of college, placed a chandelier on lay-away. His grandmother had passed away a few years before, and he always associated a chandelier with memories of her. He asked for us to make one similar to hers – which we lovingly did. I think he is the youngest customer we have had and I'll never forget his enthusiasm.
Recently I reunited with a college room-mate who was very dear to me. Her sweet mother had recently passed away, and my friend had the chandelier from her childhood home which she was hoping to have restored and prepared for storage. It is a gorgeous chandelier – well-made and impeccably maintained. We reconnected over the chandelier – me remembering her mother’s beautiful home while she told me about their last time spent under the chandelier at a family gathering. My friend has her own chandelier (inspired by her mother’s love of her own), but this chandelier will be packed for her own daughter’s use when the time comes.
So many of our customers are 2nd and even 3rd generation of King’s Chandelier owners. We take great pride in this and love knowing that family traditions include us and that family photos may include just a bit of our creations. Precious memories of fun times and holiday gatherings will be lit by our light.
From Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day is the time to make those lasting memories. And, if you happened to make those under a King’s Chandelier, we’d love you to tag your photos or even send them to us (email@example.com) so we may share in those experiences.
Much love to everyone and we wish you a joyous holiday season!
Lamp Repair - We do it! 0
If you follow our facebook and Instagram pages, you know that we love to repair lamps. Why throw out your old lamp just because it doesn't work? Never do that!
Most lamps are pretty uncomplicated, and it is quite easy to change out the wire or the socket, or both in order to make them safe for use.
Make your single way lamp into a 3 way lamp simply by changing the socket, but make sure to stay true to the original wattage limits. Most frequently these are due to the type and size of the shade that is on the fixture.
Sockets switches can be turn knobs, keys, push thrus, and even pull chain. Whatever suits you.
Change the location of your switch. Switches don't have to be on the socket. Rotary switches and step on switches can be placed on cords. And, speaking of cords, they can be made shorter or longer to blend in with their surroundings.
A good lamp repair store will have options to replace many types of lamp bases and will clean your lamp inside and out as needed.
A new shade will always spruce up an old lamp, and if you can't find the right size, consider switch the harp out to one that will accommodate the size of shade that is available to you.
Adding a new lamp finial is the perfect way to crown your newly refurbished lamp. Or add your own personality to an otherwise boring lamp by choosing a fun lamp finial. Which brings me to the reason for today's blog.... we are adding lamp finials to our web site! Yay! (My fave is the pineapple lamp finial!)
Miniature Room Glitter 0
Who else is obsessed with miniatures? I've never lost my childhood love of them - tiny little bits of furniture, rugs, accessories. Every time I visit Chicago, I stop by the Art Institute to spend time in the Thorne Miniature Rooms. As I pass by each room, studying the elements, I'm so impressed by the accuracy and attention to detail which the craftspeople brought to each scene.
Of course, I'm thrilled at the number of crystal chandeliers displayed in these rooms representing various periods in American and British design. Looking at the photos, you can almost place yourself in the room like it is a real room.
Last year during a little trip to Winchester, Va, we stopped into the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley which has a very impressive collection of miniatures in the R. Lee Taylor Miniatures Collection. This collection was a lovely surprise and also full of miniature chandeliers.
Both of these collections are room after room filled with lovely little crystal chandeliers. I wish I could have met the folks that crafted these beauties.
Twice I've been able to tour Windsor and spend time raptly staring at Queen Mary's Dolls' House with mini Waterford chandeliers. Each time I wish I could walk through those little rooms.
I'd love to hear of more miniature treasures and even add them to this page. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share yours.
- King's Chandelier Company
- Tags: Our Favorite Things
Tools of the Trade - Drying Racks 0
What is the best way to dry the crystal strands from your chandelier?
Admittedly, we were slow to catch on to this one, but our resident smart person, Brenda, finally thought to buy a laundry rack to dry those long strands from the larger chandeliers.
Works like a charm!