Throughout the history chandeliers have been used to decorate the interior of important buildings such as castles and palaces all around the world.
To purchase an authentic crystal chandelier is not a spontaneous shopping splurge and choosing the type of glass and model can be quite complicated. Are you the Strass, Swarovski, Bohemia, Italian or maybe Egyptian type? Each one of them has their own story so you will not only buy a piece of decoration, but also a piece of history.
The most ancient of all glass workers came from Egypt. Archaeological evidence has shown that the earliest glass objects to be found were glass beads from approximately the year 1540 B.C. in Egypt. Studies have shown that the Egyptians were the first people to discover that sand and lead created beautiful crystals. Due to its historical value Egyptian crystal is considered one of the world’s finest types of glass.
Italian glass often refers to the Venecian glassmakers and Murano glass, their most famous products. The island of Murano, located off the shore of Venice, Italy became an important commercial port in the 7th century. However the Murano glassworkers were unknown until the 10th century. The glassworkers of Murano held monopoly on quality glass art for centuries and developed amongst others crystalline glass and multi-coloured glass. Today, the glass industry of Murano still employs these hundred year old techniques, and is seen of one of the world’s finest glass.
The history of the Bohemia Crystal tradition started early in the 12th century Kingdom of Bohemia, that occupies the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Bohemia was part of the former Czechoslovakia, now known as the Czech Republic.
The bohemian people started to transform wood fibres into glass works using only primitive methods. Bohemian glassworkers were first to discover that potash and chalk created a clear glass that exceeded the quality of Italian glassworks. Bohemian crystal quickly became famous for its excellent cut and engraving. Their technique empowered the Bohemia region with Prague as its capital city which became the main centre of this new glass art craft.
Well known crystal products are manufactured in the Czech Republic and Slovakia area. For such a product to carry the label “Bohemia Crystal” the entire product must be produced in the region. Additionally, it must pass strict quality standards which are imposed by the Czechs in order to be accredited with the trademark “Bohemia Crystal”. Bohemia Crystal is probably the most affordable in comparison to other glass brands.
Swarovski and Strass Crystal
Strass crystals are equivalent to rhinestone originally gathered as rock crystals from the river Rhine that flows from the Swiss Alps to the coast of the Netherlands. Crystal rhinestones are mostly used as jewellery, mainly produced by the brand Swarovski in Austria and by Preciosa from Northern Bohemia.
Swarovski and Strass crystal are almost equal in pricing, Strass being the more expensive of the two. In 1775 the Georg Strass got the idea to use rhinestones to imitate diamonds by coating the glass with a metal powder making the strass crystal resistant to dirt and dust. Strass Crystal chandeliers are the most expensive of all crystal glass sorts due to this special coating and its precise cutting.