PRESENTING A STUNNING 19C French Gilt Metal 12 Light Phoenix Chandelier with Swarovski Crystal.
This chandelier pre-dates the advent of electricity and originally would have held candles.
Made in France circa 1860 it was converted to electrical use in the early 20th Century, circa 1920. We can deduce this from the holes that were drilled into the piece to convert it and to install the wiring.
Very ‘Rococo’ in style it has 4 branches, each holding 3 lights (12 in total). The branches are scrolling and flowing vine leaves. The light sockets have tulip like holders which sit on and a large starburst shaped flower.
The base section ends in a downward pointing flower. The central and top sections again have scrolling vine leaves, separated by a large starburst shaped flower. The crown is a large starburst shaped flower/leaf.
What makes this chandelier truly unique are the 4 ‘Phoenix’ birds around the top of the light section, each with a flower petal underneath.
They are unmistakeably ‘Phoenix’ birds !
The chandelier has approximately 50+ large Swarovski Crystal faceted pendant drops.
We still get a ‘chuckle’ from the fact that this stunningly rare chandelier features the ‘Phoenix”. We acquired it from a high-end estate here in Dallas from a Mansion built in 1929. When we acquired it, it was in pieces, albeit the pieces were all there in a large box (save the crystal). All the wiring was gone and one branch was broken. We repaired the broken branch, re-wired it, re-assembled it and used gorgeous 1960’s Swarovski crystals to replace the missing originals ….. only then did we notice the birds ….. TRULY … ‘The Rise of the Phoenix from the Ashes’ !!!! LOL
The crystal alone on this, is worth over $2k.
The phoenix is an immortal bird associated with Greek mythology (with analogs in many cultures) that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor. Some legends say it dies in a show of flames and combustion, others that it simply dies and decomposes before being born again. In the Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, a tool used by folklorists, the phoenix is classified as motif B32.
The origin of the phoenix has been attributed to Ancient Egypt by Herodotus and later 19th-century scholars, but other scholars think the Egyptian texts may have been influenced by classical folklore. Over time the phoenix motif spread and gained a variety of new associations; Herodotus, Lucan, Pliny the Elder, Pope Clement I, Lactantius, Ovid, and Isidore of Seville are among those who have contributed to the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif. Over time, extending beyond its origins, the phoenix could variously “symbolize renewal in general as well as the sun, time, the Empire, metempsychosis, consecration, resurrection, life in the heavenly Paradise, Christ, Mary, virginity, the exceptional man, and certain aspects of Christian life”. Some scholars have claimed that the poem De ave phoenice may present the mythological phoenix motif as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection
19C French Gilt Metal 12 Light Phoenix Chandelier with Swarovski Crystal.
Provenance: From a 1920’s Dallas Mansion
Condition: Good. Normal wear and tear. Some loss of original gilt work. One major repair to one branch with modern brackets used to stabilize, but not very visible once fully installed with crystal. One repair to top section. Re-wired and fully working. The Swarovski Pendant Drop Crystals are from the 1960’s.
Dimensions: 36 inches long with base diameter of 24 inches.