Chandelier designs have evolved to maximize the impact of light on the finest cut crystal. This type is known as a Maria Theresia, after the chandeliers originally created in 1743 for the coronation of the Austrian Empress Maria-Theresia as Queen of Bohemia (which was -- still is -- after Venice, the most important world centre for glass working). It is the archetypal chandelier.
Many chandelier workshops still make them, more or less well. But one company is now particularly associated with the finest: Wieshofer in Vienna.
Indeed, they have recently been making little else. A review of the company's strategy has indicated that it is time for a change of direction. Therefore, until the end of 2013, all their chandeliers will be half price! Here is their announcement:
This is an amazing, genuinely unrepeatable, opportunity to acquire the very finest chandeliers at a bargain price.
You may think them too sophisticated for many of your clients. But you might be surprised: their effect is so spectacular that their impact is visceral: the heart takes over the the brain.
You may think that they are not "contemporary" enough. But a piece like this is not of any specific period: it should be considered as an example of excellence, of the very finest craftsmanship, as a work of art. As such, it could be put into the most minimal interior.
Some chandeliers are kitchy, some are over-the-top bling, some are unsatisfying agglomerations of glass, and some have been made cheaply in order to extract large sums of money from the gullible. Reassure your client that these Wieshofer chandeliers are none of these. They are in the very best taste, and of the very highest quality. A key reason for their review of the future is that the average age of their craftspeople is now high and they don't know how they will be able to replace them.
Nothing will appeal more strongly to someone who looking for something beautiful, timeless, truly special, so let's look at them in more detail.
They hang from a chain that is fabric covered and ends in a beautiful tassel:
The tassel and the fabric are available in a range of colours:
A chandelier needs quite a lot of metal to carry the weight of the crystal. Yet, look at a Wieshofer chandelier and you are hardly aware of its structure. This style has the metal in ribbon-shapes, with ribbons of crystal either side -- a crystal and metal sandwich, with only the thin edge of the ribbon of metal showing:
This is why the overwhelming impression they give is of crystal and light, not metal. But Wieshofer's metal is special! These are the options:
There are various designs of chandeliers in various sizes. For example, this one, WMT 3B is just Ø90cm H90cm:
There are also matching wall lights:
Statement pieces like this are so special that we would encourage you to visit the showrooms in Vienna...
...where you can see their chandeliers at eye height -- and therefore appreciate their impact and sheer quality from close up:
Vienna is key destination for chandelier lovers! Besides fine examples in the various palaces (many of which have been made or restored by Wieshofer), there are also the showrooms of Lobmeyr and Woka there. Kalmar are based in Vienna too, but they don't have showrooms at the moment.
Go on -- specify something really special -- whilst they are half price! By next year, they will be gone forever....