Chandelier

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Object Name: 
Chandelier
Accession Number: 
2010.4.66
Dimensions: 
Overall H: about 243.8 cm, Diam: about 182.9 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
1880-1889
Web Description: 
This mammoth 24-light chandelier was made for the chapel of the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy, which was founded as the Wheeling Female Academy in 1848. The chandelier was a gift to the school in 1891 from John Hobbs of Hobbs, Brockunier & Co., the largest glasshouse in Wheeling. Mr. Hobbs’s daughter had attended the school. The piece was originally a gas chandelier, but it was electrified in 1906. Hobbs, Brockunier conducted an extensive business in chandeliers, although it imported the prisms. An 1879 article in Scientific American reported that “Wheeling manufacturers make the big glass chandeliers which have become so fashionable of late, but they import the cut glass pendants from Switzerland, where the peasants make them by hand cheaper than they can be made by machine in this country.” Because of their low cost, imported prisms were employed by most American chandelier manufacturers. However, the stems that support the burners of this chandelier, which are in the form of hands, are pressed. Hobbs also used the pressed glass hand shape for the stems of compotes and other pressed tableware. The original shades were made by Hobbs, but some of the shades in use now are believed to be 20th-century replacements that were imported. In the 1980s, this chandelier was cleaned and restored, and it was moved to the academy’s music hall. In 2010, the school’s administrators decided to sell this fixture and a smaller chandelier to museums so that they could be better protected. [246 words] For the history of Hobbs, Brockunier & Co., see Jane Shadel Spillman, James Measell, and Holly McCluskey, “Glassmaking in South Wheeling, 1845–1893,” in Wheeling Glass, 1829–1839: Collection of the Oglebay Institute Glass Museum, ed. Gerald I. Reilly, Wheeling, West Virginia: Oglebay Institute, 1994, pp. 41–96; and Albert Christian Revi, American Pressed Glass and Figure Bottles, New York: Nelson, 1964, pp. 182–194.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Hagedorn & Associates, Source
2010-06-24
Color: 
Technique: 
Material: 
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass, metal; pressed, assembled metal parts. Top section is smaller version of bottom section of chandelier. Bottom section has alternating large and small bobeches and alternating vertical; circular/prism elements on main arms near interior. 6 prism chains attach to top section; all the same. Prism chains 3 from top separate to 2 each, to large vertical elements at bottom and have chains connect each beneath. All shades (24), sockets and metal rings with 3 screws, identical and not original; can go anywhere when reassembled. Shade has sticker, "Made in France".