Empire balloon chandelier, first quarter of the 19th century

Balloon Chandelier
First quarter of the 19th century


Balloon-Shaped chandelier with a circular structure in gilded bronze, from which 12 candle-holder branch off; the central band is decorated with anthemious motifs alternating with facing lions, supported in the lower part by four arms chiseled and worked as if they were torch-holders, which are joined in the center with a pine cone. In the upper crown the anthemium decoration is proposed again.

The characteristic hot-air balloon shape is given by necklaces in ground glass crystals that also decorate the bronze crowns and the candle-holder arms with pendants. There are signs of restoration work on some bronzes.

Dimensions: 85,5 x 60 x 3,5 cm ( 33,6 x 23,6 x 1,4 in )


Historical-critical analysis:

The balloon chandelier was a very popular model in the Empire era, spreading widely throughout the first quarter of the nineteenth century, not only in the Napoleonic era.

In Italy the most popular models are made of embossed and gilded sheet metal while for the most illustrious destinations the realization is entrusted to bronze workers who create the structure of the chandelier in bronze subsequently gilded with mercury. The quality and finesse of the chisel with which the bronzes of this article are made declare it an important destination, especially in the Italian panorama.

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