Brass twelve-light chandelier
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- Holland, the Netherlands
- 17th century
- Brass, iron
- 98 cm
- 105 cm
W. van Biemen, B. Linskens & A. de Groot (ed.), Koper in kerken, Leiden 2018, pp. 41 - 44.
O. ter Kuile, Koper & Brons, Den Haag 1986, pp. 134 - 141
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A Dutch brass chandelier with twelve branches arranged in two layers around a wrought-iron stem with an iron pin, a brass hanging ring, various profiled stem elements, two rings, twelve S-shaped branches with drip trays and candle holders, a ball and a droplet below. The section above the upper ring to which the branches are attached has a mushroom shape, the section between the rings is vase-shaped. The rings have six holes each in which the branches are attached with a baluster-shaped and profiled peg. On the bases, the branches are decorated with volutes, with a stylised dolphin. The deep, S-shaped branches end in wide dish-shaped drip trays that carry the candle holders. The drip trays have a flat edge and a recess towards the centre. The profiled candle holders have a baluster-shaped foot. Under the lower ring the sphere is attached, with a strongly profiled droplet.
This chandelier is a typical Dutch chandelier, with a large sphere at the bottom and S-shaped branches. The ball, weighted with clay or sand, keeps the chandelier in balance and makes sure that it hangs straight so that the candles burn evenly. The polished and shining ball also reflects the light of the candles on the, deeply downward bent, branches. This type of chandelier made its appearance around 1600 in churches, public buildings and the homes of wealthy citizens. As a result of the Revolt and economic tensions, many craftsmen, including brass workers, fled from the Southern Netherlands to the Northern Netherlands in the sixteenth century. The iconoclasm in 1566 and the takeover of a large number of Catholic churches by Protestants resulted in the loss of much copper work, and therefore in the seventeenth century there was an increasing demand for new copper work. The Republic, and Amsterdam in particular, became the centre of brass casting due to the available knowledge, craftsmen and orders. The chandeliers were cast using the sand casting method; wooden models were pressed in the sand, creating a mould for casting the chandelier. After casting, the cooled and rough object was finished on the lathe.