Once to be found capturing the sun’s rays in every middle and upper class home, these highly decorative domestic accessories fell from favour after the first World War. Sadly, along with much else of purely aesthetic, as opposed to practical value, they came to be regarded by all too many as “Victorian clutter”, and were accordingly consigned to the dustbin.
While ourselves greatly enamoured of both Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the fashion for which styles each eventually ran it’s course, we regard the wholesale jettisoning of what is now viewed as classic “Victoriana” with deep dismay. Fortunately, thanks in part to the enlightened denizens of the “Antiques Trade”, ever in the vanguard of that child of the Late 20th Century, the Conservation Movement, much of value has been rescued from the jaws of destruction.
Lustres first made their appearance in Georgian times, as an adjunct to the candlestick, and were intended to catch and reflect the soft light cast therefrom. During the ensuing decades, imaginative glassmakers, inspired by this, produced myriad designs, many examples of which have, fortunately, come down to us as a now greatly valued inheritance. Whether displayed without additional adornment, or as a receptacle for a floral bouquet, these delightful pieces are certain to add grace and beauty to any decorative scheme. Viewers of the BBC series, “The Mayor of Casterbridge” may recall the intimate “tête-à-tête” between Alan Bates and Anna Massey in which the dining table centre-piece was a lovely old lustre containing a night-light gently floating within.
“Never Lose an Opportunity of Seeing Anything Beautiful ~ For Beauty is God’s Handwriting” ~ Charles Kingsley ~