An Unexpected Chandelier

Posted by Jac Slaney on



ABOVE: Arnolfini Marriage, 1434, Jan van Eyck

A chandelier, other wise referred to as a girandole or candelabra lamp, is a suspended ornamental light with multiple branches. The wealthy have been enjoying chandeliers since medieval times when rustic wooden structures with candles on spikes were de rigueur. Although rudimentary, these statement lights made imposing interior features in fourteenth century rooms. A mechanism for the frequent replacing of the candles was necessary, so a hoist incorporating ropes or chains was installed on a nearby wall.

BELOW: We spotted this magnificent crystal chandelier at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk

Through the centuries the chandelier has gradually metamorphosized into grander and more embellished lights with the use of more exotic and expensive materials being incorporated including precious metals and jewels. Synonymous with the rich and powerful these ornate lights found a wider appeal with the development of lead crystal in 1674. Its arrival transformed chandeliers as the material supported cheaper manufacture, whilst retaining a beguiling refraction of the light.

Today, the grand crystal chandelier is still in vogue but it now has numerous cousins, many who hark back to the light’s origins. Here are Utopia we enjoy playing with old ideas and manipulating antiques into something different, something unexpected, so of course over the years we have reinterpreted chandeliers in many ways. Our latest design harnesses pairs of antique hames into various configurations.


We create these chandeliers from pairs of horse hames - in single or double pairs in a range of styles (brass - Raw 55 pictured, wood & iron and painted steel) depending on the original antiques. Prices from £500.

Raw 55  Antique Brass Horse Hames Giant Chandelier

A unique and stunning giant chandelier/pendant light with contemporary character transformed by Utopia from two pairs of antique/vintage solid brass hames. The antiques are in great condition - they form the branching structures of the chandelier.  Please note that the pairs are not identical but very similar.

Hames form the integral part of a heavy horse collar, usually made of metal and/or wood, they are often padded and with a leather casing. The collar is used to distribute weight around the horse's neck and shoulders when pulling a plough.

This striking light has been created using brass fittings including a large ceiling rose with 8 cable grips and a central hook for the chains, edison/screw lamp (bulb) holders, 4 brass ceiling hooks for the outer chains, welded brass link chain and old gold retro-style twisted cable. There is great flexibility with the height of this light as the chains and cable can be easily adjusted.

This light looks great with the modern retro-style LED filament that provides a great light at low cost, without any heat build up. 

Dimensions: Variable height. Diameter 160cm



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