After sharing my blue opaline glass chandy on Facebook, someone sent me this photo of their yellow opaline chandelier! The photo was taken down, so I was unable to source it, however I shared it myself as I found it absolutely stunning! I had no idea Opaline came in colors other than white and aquamarine blue. So I wanted to learn more about this romantic glass they call Opaline~
"Opaline Glass is a decorative style of glass made in France from 1800 to the 1890s, peaking in popularity during the reign of Napoleon III in the 1850s and 1860s. The glass is opaque or slightly translucent, and can appear either white or brightly colored in shades of green, blue, pink, black, lavender and yellow. The glass has a high lead content which defined it as semi-crystal."
I will be on the lookout for all the colors of Opaline, but for now I have some pretty Opaline glass chandeliers in blue to share.
This is my new OLD chandelier! I was told it was purchased in Austria a long time ago...look how pretty the color is, very aquamarine! After I posted on this chandlelier I got an email from Cheryl, who writes the Fresh Vanilla for C blog. She has one with the same kind of glass and she wanted to know where she could get more glass drops to add to her chandelier.
Cheryl wants more drops, but the problem is that they don't make them anymore! You have to hunt around on eBay, and hope to get lucky, or hope you have a fairy chandy godmother like I had (!!), but that part of the story is further down. I bought some from eBay myself, and they were a complete knockoff, with a glass that is dark and dull and flat.
But Cheryl's pretty chandelier has a few of those star flower crystals called "rosettes". I read somewhere that only the French chandeliers have those! She hangs her chandy in her kitchen and hasn't even blogged about it yet!! So it is making its debut over here at Maison Decor. I just love the draped beaded garland on these chandeliers!
This was the first opaline chandelier I had seen in person, and it belongs to Designer Betsy Speert, who is now a rising star in blogland (thanks to me). Here is what she had to say about it:
"AREN'T YOU JEALOUS???!!! It was the first thing I bought for my new home, and it set the color scheme for the living room and dining room. I got it from a store in North Cambridge, MA called City Lights, it's on Massachusetts Avenue, if you want to go check it out. (The store, not the chandelier. It's an antique, so I got it, and you can't have it.)"
See what I mean?
Look at these pink opalescent drops on this beaded chandy for sale in an Etsy shop with a price tag of $800+. They don't look like they have the translucent quality in the drops and I wonder if the pink was added~perhaps this is a reproduction, which is fine. But I like old chandeliers so I look closely at the drops to view the wiring and these have tiny holes with thin wire running through it where it is to be attached to the chandelier frame. Mine has a brass pin that is inserted into the center of the glass drop that appears to be set when the glass is hardening. Look at the pink drops below~the wire is coming out of the inside of the glass drop.
This 1920 French antique is listed on eBay and has milky pink opalescent drops that look to be antique and has a tag of $1499. They aren't giving them away, that's for sure!
Even reproduction glass prisms can be made with the wire coming right out of the center of the glass drop~so you have to do a lot of checking if you are looking to purchase only vintage or antique. These purple glass drops are in an etsy shop now, and I have seen vintage ones for sale at etsy as well. Hunt around on ebay or just google what you are looking for and see what comes up in your search.
I think these things give clues on the age of chandeliers.
The living room chandy was a standard brass vintage thing I bought on Etsy for $40 and then I added different crystals and finally got the coveted blue opaline and added those. So you can build your own chandy to your own tastes by buying old or new crytals, with lots of sources online.
This seller on Etsy sells chandelier garland with aged chain to capture the vintage look. This is what she is calling Opaline Czech glass beads and she sells it by the foot for less than $10. She also sells the barrel beads, which she calls macaroni beads, and she had some in white milky glass which was very pretty.
This pretty vintage Italian sconce has interestingly shaped opaline beaded garland~price $450.
Look at the beadwork on this~it is all strung together in a net to cover the bottom area and then the beads swoop up to the top and across the front with more drops!
And last but not least, the lights came with all of this~
Lots of goblets and champagne glasses, bowls, a vase..
And one pair of love birds!
I hoped you enjoyed learning a bit of the history of Opaline glass~
to think it all started in France during Napoleon's rein~centuries ago!
If you have an opaline chandy you would like to share,