PRECIOSA: Euroluce, Hall 15; Brera, Corso Garibaldi 2
Experience the luxury, elegance and future of Bohemian crystal in Milan at the exhibition “Cultivation of Chandeliers. Since 1724.“ Euroluce: Hall 15, stand A37/B34 and Brera, Corso Garibaldi 2.
Cultivation of Chandeliers. Since 1724.
Since 1724, Preciosa has strengthened and deepened its knowledge of the characteristic properties of crystal glass to masterly perfection, producing and cultivating chandeliers according to original Bohemian traditions. The very highest standards of craftsmanship and unique technical knowledge make Preciosa one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fine glass chandeliers. The company actively ensures the development and evolution of its centuries-old know-how, combining ancient techniques with modern day technology, in such ways that the true original spirit of the chandeliers is never lost and the cultivation of their intent and beauty continues.
In order to preserve the culture of chandeliers, it is necessary to understand their significance in history, how they relate to the past, but importantly, how they are also relevant today. Preciosa holds an innate appreciation for chandeliers and uniquely, is able to recognise their potential for both the present and the future; innovating whilst cherishing at the same time. Thanks to this approach, Preciosa chandeliers have long been, and are still, permanent protagonists of contemporary lifestyle and this has enabled them to stand at the forefront of style through every era.
Understanding the tradition, not just relating to crafts but also to the chandelier’s role in the past, forms a substantial part of Preciosa’s vision for the future.
As different as the chandeliers may seem, their forms and styles are mostly derived from the ‘iconic chandeliers’ that have a formative influence. The different styles overlap, also influencing each other, and they have been continuously developed further since their original conception. No revolution is necessary. Instead, you need to understand tradition, zeitgeist, and have the courage to continuously innovate traditional as well as iconic chandeliers.
Various classic chandelier styles have inspired each other over centuries and decades, and some of them have blended. Thanks to new production methods and materials, they have been revived and rarely reflect the status quo.
‘Cultivation of Chandeliers’ expresses what Preciosa has been celebrating for many years in the Bohemian tradition dating back to 1724. Cultivating and manufacturing chandeliers – and, most importantly, keeping them so vivid that they always reflect the zeitgeist, a lifestyle, and make a statement for the future. Preciosa presents two renewal models with long-term potential for classic chandeliers:
The shape, beauty and authenticity of the historical design continues and is presented with colours appealing to traditional and contemporary tastes alike.
The design intent of the historic piece is extracted and given to a contemporary designer from which to create a new interpretation, out of the context of time, yet without losing the original meaning.
Crystal & Greenery
The Cultivation of Chandeliers not only means developing and re-interpreting existing iconic chandeliers, but also creating tailormade solutions, according to a client’s but also to a space’s needs – for Preciosa, this is highest degree of cultivation. In order to demonstrate this category of cultivation we are permanentely working on individual, unique solutions, such as ‘Crystal Biosphere’, that combines three outstanding concepts, which also have strong individual meanings.
‘Crystal Biosphere’ was, like many other installations by Preciosa, created based on a greater understanding of spaces. The purpose is not only illumination, but also staging and individual refinement. The installations have a distinct meaning for each room. We first try to understand the space and its context, in order to create customised installations for it. The installations consist of existing and new elements, the chandeliers, and are based on the centuries-old know-how of Preciosa.
Crystal Biosphere tells and interprets the story of natural life, playfully portraying natural beauty and inspiring astonishment. The installation consists of three concepts that also work on their own; Crystal Tree, Crystal Field & Crystal Automata.
Inspired by Nature
Through an interpretation with crystal, elements of nature become new, and slightly exaggerated. Moments that occur every day in nature are transferred into rooms and enliven them in a unique way.
‘Crystal Tree’ captures the curious moment in which wind whirls through the branches of a cherry tree, as if it wanted to steal its leaves – but they, made from perfectly cut crystal, are inseparable from the tree.
This concept starts with a natural element. A 3D scan of a real trunk is the base for the design, which reacts to the given shape to create the composition of a crystal treetop, suspended from the ceiling.
Inspired by Nature
There are simply two ways to make a meadow sparkle at sunrise: morning dew, or finely cut crystal. In ‘Crystal Field’, crystals swing on fine metal sticks in the morning wind of a lush green meadow.
The nature of the ‘Crystal Automata’ mechanisms is cyclical – without beginning or end, they run in continuous movement for eternity. In ‘Crystal Automata’, the movement of light is set in motion, forever changing but never ceasing; it brings the concept of the chandelier with its unique sparkling properties with it, through the ages, and into our contemporary present.
There are inherent connections between chandeliers and automata. Chandeliers are often used to receive and inspire guests, in the past, automata were also used to instil wonder in visitors or viewers via a practical device. The combination of chandeliers and automata doubles, at least, the visual wonder and fascination, and leads visitors, thanks to nine pairs of wings made of frosted crystal, through a crystal wonderland.
Diamond Cloud & Greenery
The desire to imitate nature, to interpret it and to reproduce it, regardless of the location, is the inspiration for the ‘Crystal Forest’ concept. Crystal Forest is not just any wood; it is modelled on the mysterious places of Crystal Valley, where nature and culture meet and where the Cultivation of Chandeliers was born.
The products represent the complex portfolio of Preciosa, offering a selection of Bohemian chandeliers that have been admired for their beauty and brilliance for almost three centuries all over the world. Their timeless iconic shapes are translated into new, contemporary ways, giving future generations their own Bohemian Crystal experience.
The portfolio also includes elegant installations and architectural lighting solutions.
Each of the lightings is an original and combines the traditions handed down through the families of glass master craftsmen in Crystal Valley with elements of modern design. The portfolio offers various options for crystal glass pieces, industrial metal chandeliers and luxury variations for contemporary interiors.
Cast Brass Chandelier
Even though it originated in Italy, the cast brass chandelier was developed and heavily influenced by Louis XIV, who created the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ at Versailles. This iconic Bohemian metal-arm piece was a revolution in chandelier production that enchanted 18th Century high society. The unique clarity with which the chandeliers from Josef Palme’s workshop illuminated any room could not be achieved anywhere else in the world. Having not met its match in transparent quality anywhere else, the renowned Bohemian chandelier radiated an atmosphere of luxury, affluence and good taste at exclusive events such as the wedding of King Louis XV’s daughter at Versailles and centuries later, it still possesses the same breathtaking appeal.
The elementary geometry of the original Louis chandelier is retained, but adaptations to its surface finish and the new feature of lamp shades have been incorporated to soften the overall light and colour effects, as well as the silhouette of the piece. The lamp shades conceal the light sources, diffusing the light to achieve a gentler ambience, perfect for above table settings, as shadows are minimised. Personalisation and adaptability are facilitated through the colours of the shades. The classic frame is updated using new metallic lacquer surface finishes in various colours. These finishes, combined with the choice of lamp shade colours, allow for multiple variations of mood or tone, to suit a variety of intimate or majestic settings.
Louis – New Interpretation
Through contemporary techniques Mercury retains the perfect design intent of its predecessor – using the surfaces to reflect light – but it is brought through the centuries and into contemporary times, creating a new era for the phenomenon of the Bohemian chandelier. The strong, decisive shape and colours give a confident look, whilst maintaining elegance and beauty. Distinctive by its construction, the chandelier is fit for industrial and open spaces.
Design by Rony Plesl Another version of the Mercury chandelier raises the ‘candles’ by its arms. The whole composition celebrates the sun and the light it radiates.
Rony Plesl is a renowned and award winning Czech designer and sculptor, his works combine design with architecture, and he deals with free creation, industrial and interior design.
Glass Arms Chandelier
This distinctive glass chandelier narrates the rich history of the first full glass-arm chandelier to have ever been crafted in Bohemia. After the great European wars in the 17th Century, metals became rare. Glass was broadly accepted as an alternative, as it was comparable in its reflective properties. In 1724, Josef Palme completed the ‘Prachen’ chandelier – the first glassarm chandelier crafted in Bohemia.
The pieces were ordered for Castle ‘Schloss Hof’ and the Royal Palace in Madrid. Josef Palme’s approach to glass and chandelier production was one of the major influences laying the foundation for Bohemian Chandeliers. His company was the direct predecessor of Preciosa’s Lighting Workshop, situated in the village of Prachen, neighbouring Kamenicky Senov where Preciosa is based today.
The collection of new colours for Eugene are extravagant, brave and adventurous, rejuvenating the simple and elegant glass design with a contemporary palette that brings freshness and energy to interiors. The new selection includes combinations and inspirations from nature: fresh green, warm rose, and calming blue, making the options for this lighting piece extensive and varied – it can be incorporated into existing or intended interior colour schemes, whilst the individual colours may also be combined to provide different moods or themes to retain an overall synchronicity.
Eugene – New Interpretation
Echo develops the reflective properties of Eugene and plays on its forms to create a completely new contemporary piece that maintains the original’s grace and elegance but intrigues with its unusual shapes and corresponding reflections. Its name represents the physical symmetry of the design as well as the pattern of the lighting effects produced as a result. The design embraces a paired-down use of materials to emphasise these effects, the craftsmanship and quality are perfect, to ensure the required balance and precise angles of reflection.
Design by Frank Tjepkema
Thanks to the wonderful game of reflections they produce, the defining round brass spheres of the Flemish chandelier survived various transformations over the centuries. Therefore, the chandelier does not only reflect the light it produces but it also echoes its entire shape along a suggested invisible horizon.
Frank Tjepkema is based in Amsterdam. Since 2001, he has been working on interior design, architecture, product design, visual design and jewellery. He has provoked audiences worldwide through his art and exhibition pieces, such as the Bronze Age Furniture, Recession Chair, Bling Bling and Oogst. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, amongst others.
Metal & Glass Arm Chandelier
MARIA THERESA Historic Design
Maria Theresa, an iconic Bohemian metal and glass arm chandelier prevailing in its current and timeless shape, is proof to Josef Palme’s immense genius. Even today, his sophisticated innovation in the metal and glass combining construction method enables this piece to expand horizontally, thus providing more brilliance for all kinds of residences or occasions that may call for its atmosphere.
The first chandeliers of this kind illuminated the coronation of the Queen of Bohemia in 1743. Legend says that she fell in love twice in her life: first with her husband, Francis I, and second with the chandeliers she gave her name to. It adorns many prestigious locations all over the world – Prague Castle, and the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, are just two.
The original opulence of the Maria Theresa chandelier is paired down for a new era. The shape and silhouette of the chandelier are refined to match today’s lighting technology – high luminosity is possible with less reflection than in previous centuries – therefore the shape has more clearance and space for different decorative functions and forms.
Using white glass and colouring the steel structure, adding coloured glass elements and coloured lamp shades, combine to achieve a completely contemporary light piece. Introduced in several new colour schemes and complemented by its softer appearance, the chandelier now suits a wider range of interior spaces, bringing fresh luxury and a sense of light-hearted splendour. Traditionally, the steel structure was embodied in clear glass. Now, it is embodied in coloured glass inspired by nature, which is visible from the edges and sides, adding a further level of interest – the experience of colour changes as you move around the chandelier. Opaque white glass both gently diffuses the light, and the impression that the chandelier gives to the room.
Maria Theresa – New Interpretation
The geometry and shape of the original, classical, Maria Theresa, is completely reimagined, although retaining the same construction principles, into a highly affecting contemporary piece, striking in its simple yet monumental design and bold colour scheme. The use of elaborate forms is restricted, letting the core concepts of the piece resonate with luxurious vibrancy, made possible through exquisite glass work and finishes. The light from the discreet luminaires is reflected in the rich gold spheres, projecting warm reflections, and creating a sense of quiet majesty.
Design by Rony Plesl
King continues the tradition of the iconic historical chandelier, ‘Maria Theresa’, typical for the Czech lands. In its production, the glass-masters use a traditional technique of making crystal arms entirely by hand. Its basic silhouette is inverted, given a new design but its fundamental structural aspects are preser ved as a connecting link between the past and the present.
Rony Plesl is a renowned and award winning Czech designer and sculptor, his works combine design with architecture, and he deals with free creation, industrial and interior design.
Cut Crystal Chandelier
Emperor Rudolph II truly appreciated the art of crystal cutting. Under his guidance in 16th Century Prague, his glass masters perfected their craft. It goes without saying that an exquisite cut is what makes the perfect crystal chandelier – a work of brilliance with the ability to evoke amazement in all those who find themselves in its presence. Born from the unrivalled craft of its cutting masters, the Bohemian Crystal chandelier is also the result of a carefully cherished heritage and contemporary approach.
The idea of refining crystal glass with lead, to allow for more complex crystal cutting and to create sparkling effects came from England, but the Bohemian cutting masters were seen as being the best for its production. The Bohemian Crystal chandelier is a hybrid of a simple, functional glass design, enriched by glass trimmings and chains known from the Versailles and Maria Theresa chandeliers.
The ornateness of the original Bohemian chandelier is refined, retaining its sense of grandeur but using opaque glass and colour accents to soften the impression, and bring it further into today’s contemporary culture. The frosted surfaces mean the piece fits comfortably into intimate settings, whilst none of the splendour of the original is lost. A collection of lampshades compliment the pearly tones of the glass and offer opportunities for various interior schemes.
Rudolph – New Interpretation
The cut Crystal arms of the original Bohemian chandelier are modified into a new, simple design, so that they become the overriding main feature of the piece. By exaggerating the concept of the glass arm, a whole new interpretation of the chandelier is possible, using repetition and symmetry to emphasize the beauty of the structural element and its light reflecting properties.
Design by Lukáš Uliarczyk
The whole shape was designed to resemble the crown itself. The Crystal arms are piled up in a circular composition to create the shape of the crown. Crystal trimmings and candles symbolize the gems and stones that adorned crowns in the past. The upper part ends with candles standing out from the silhouette and creating a halo that represents pureness and light.
Lukáš Uliarczyk is part of the Preciosa Design Team
About Preciosa and Crystal Valley
Preciosa Lighting is part of the Preciosa Group, which is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of high-precision cut crystal components. The roots of the company, whose registered office is in Kamenický Šenov in the Czech Republic, go back to the year 1724. Over the centuries Preciosa has consolidated and expanded its knowledge of the characteristic properties of crystal – transparency, fragility and the ability to change its shape when in liquid form – into masterly expertise.
The highest standards of craftsmanship, unique technical know-how and the distinctiveness of its designs have today guaranteed Preciosa a place among the world’s leading producers of top-quality cut crystal. Preciosa Lighting’s classic chandelier lighting can be found all over the globe, in Versailles, St. Petersburg, London, Dubai, Macao and New York, in both public and private palaces and residences. Preciosa’s impressive product range also includes jewellery, gift items, crystal components for the jewellery and fashion industries and the legendary, beautifully cut crystal beads.
In early 2017, in the heart of Prague, a new chapter in Preciosa’s rich Bohemian Crystal history began. Whilst cherishing the traditions of the last three hundred years, and honouring the iconic designs of this history, at its new Flagship Store Preciosa presents the brilliance and craftsmanship of its chandeliers for the next generation to experience.
Bohemian Crystal draws on local natural wealth, together with the masterful craftsmanship and indomitable will of its people to embellish the world. The beginnings of the glassmaking tradition in Bohemia are closely tied to the production of pearls. But it was in 1724, that Josef Palme obtained permission to produce chandeliers, enabling Bohemian Crystal to finally blossom in its full glory and illuminate Europe with its mesmerizing brilliance.
Bohemian Crystal and chandeliers soon made their way to being one of the most sought-after possessions, along with famous pieces from England, France or Italy. Bohemian chandeliers went on to adorn the residences of many noble elites and sovereign families.
Just like today, the chandeliers were born from the hands of Bohemian glass makers. A true embellishment of the most fabled of royal courts, they were the most iconic masterpieces – unique jewels that now bear the names of their original owners – Empress Maria Theresa, Prince Eugene of Savoy or King Louis XIV.
The charm of Bohemian chandeliers, however, does not only dwell in their timeless characters. It also stands out in the uniqueness of every single piece of trimming, regardless of the era or architectonic style. Its present form, wedded elegantly with tradition, can be found in residences and palaces from Dubai to New York.
The most beautiful crystal chandeliers that decorate large historical palaces, museums, opera houses and hotels around the world come from a small, mountainous region in north Bohemia: Crystal Valley.
Thanks to the region’s natural wealth and especially due to local craftsmanship and talent, the glassmaking traditions of Kamenický Šenov, home to Preciosa Lighting’s main production facility, have remained unspoiled for centuries. The oldest glassworks site found in Crystal Valley dates back to 1250. From the 17th Century crystal clear glass, called Bohemian Crystal, started to be melted down and shaped. This glass became a local speciality and became so popular around the world, that the Czech lands became the most important glass exporter in the world by the mid-18th Century. At this time the first workshops specialising in the production of crystal lights started to appear in Crystal Valley. The oldest professional glassmaking school in Europe has operated in Kamenický Šenov since 1856 and this, together with the local tradition of fathers passing glassmaking skills down to their children, has had a major impact on the craft and technical skills of local master glassmakers. To this day, local people continue to protect the glass making secrets of their ancestors as part of the local tradition.
Today Crystal Valley is still the most important region in the world for the production of crystal chandeliers.