Venetian glass lamps, rather than chandeliers , first made their appearance somewhere between the back end of the fifteenth century, and the sixteenth century, during the first golden Age of Venetian glass.
The Venetian glass chandelier as we know it did not really make a documented appearance until the early part of the 18th century.
A fine Venetian chandelier by the glass master Briati still exists, and can be dated to around 1740.
Right up until the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the design and glass technology that went into making Venetian chandeliers was continually developed.
One of the oldest, and most famous examples of Venetian chandeliers of the era can be found in the Ca’ Rezzonico house on the Grand Canal. It is an impressive polychrome Venetian chandelier, with a metal frame, 20 arms, 1.5 meters wide, and almost 2 meters high.
After the fall of the Republic, glass making virtually disappeared for a while, and that included of course the manufacture of Venetian chandeliers.
Chandelier revival did not really take place until the middle of the 19th century. The resurgence in particular can be accredited to 2 maestros:- Liberale and Ongaro. They studied old chandeliers from antique shops, and reinvented the techniques’, and took manufacture to a new level of refinement.
Next Giovanni Fuga and Giuseppe Gaccio made a very impressive Venetian chandelier consisting of around 1700 individual components! From a technical standpoint , the work was exceptional, it also gained much praise of the critics.
In 1864 the Venetian chandelier was finally re-introduced to the world in a special exhibition of Venetian glass. The centrepiece was an impressive Venetian chandelier, 4 meters high, 6.78 meters in circumference and weighing in at 330kg.
In those early years of the, one of the best known companies was the Salvati company.
Today the Venetian chandelier is at its height of development, with new colours, and exciting designs that have allowed the popularity of the Venetian chandelier to be enjoyed by discerning clients all over the world.