Relevant categories: Bronzes,Architectural
Candlesticks featuring multiple branches were given the name candelabras and those made of gilt bronze christened ‘gilt candelabras’. Gilt bronze simply refers to a base metal on which top layer of gold has been applied. In other words, it refers to gold-plated bronze.
The design of gilt candelabras was such that they had a central stem and 2 to 6 branches. When they first appeared on the scene, their purpose was to hold candlesticks, which provided light in homes. But since the advent of electricity, their role has been reduced to serving as mere decorations.
Here are some things to consider when choosing gilt candelabras:
1. The Size of the Candelabras
Before you buy a pair of gilt candelabras, you have to make up your mind the kind of style you are looking for. Thus the candelabra you choose should be the right size for your table. You don’t want to end up with a candelabra that’s too big for your table. The measurements of the room can also be a good guiding factor.
2. Are You Buying From A Professional?
Antique gilt candelabras are a little bit tricky to buy, given that you cannot just walk into a shop and out with a piece. You ought to buy only from a trusted seller. Professionals would know exactly what they are selling to you. They understand the time period when the candelabras were made and can give you the right value of the piece you are buying.
3. Time Period When It Was Made
Gilt candelabras are pretty old items, given that they existed long before electricity was invented. As such, most of the antique pieces predate the early 1900s. The older the candelabra, the more valuable it is. Thus, you are more likely to pay top dollar for buying an earlier piece than one that was made much later.
4. The Design
As is already clear, gilt candelabras serve more as decorations than lighting fixtures. While some are designed with 2 branches, others have as many as 6 branches. The candelabras with the most branches usually look more elegant and serve well as decorations. That’s why it’s important to consider the candelabra’s design as you go out to the antique dealer in search of one.
5. Signs of Use and Damage
It would be foolhardy to expect to find gilt bronze candelabras that have never been used. Even though you may not find a perfect piece, it shouldn’t have obvious signs of flaws and wear. There could be some wax remaining in the holders but that shouldn’t be a major issue. Scratches on the surface could diminish the value of the gilt candelabra if you were to sell it. Also, beware of dents and unnatural bents which may mean a lack of careful use of the candelabra.
You will find gilt candelabras from vast periods of time and in all kinds of styles. Be careful that you do not end up paying a lot of money for something that doesn’t meet your expectations. Ask an expert in antique to accompany you to the gallery and advise you where necessary.
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