Monday, 17 May 2010

Retro Murano Chandelier Restoration

If you don't already know, I am the proud owner of a retro Murano chandelier - a present to myself for our first year in the house.

The chandelier was in a sorry state when I picked it up and a quick trip to a chandelier restorer was what was needed.

On the weekend, I packed it into the car and took it to Chandelier Restorations in West End. What a fabulous place! This restorer specialises in Georgian style chandeliers (wow! divine) but was extremely knowledgable about chandeliers in general.

He laughed when he saw mine and said he actually throws out the frame of these chandeliers but keeps the crystals. Retro modern design is so under-appreciated I thought, as I glanced back at a 19th century German wrought iron chandelier I had walked past.

Anyway, he was very nice despite our differing tastes and enlightened me (no pun intended) about my particular chandelier.

It is a spider chandelier from perhaps the early 70s. The crystals are definitely Murano dragon's tears. And their approximate worth, as there are 72 of the suckers, is over $900.

Well, I paid about $100 for it, so I gave myself an imaginary pat on the back for a job well done. Apparently the value of these things are the Murano crystal but there is very little demand for them in Brisbane. They mostly get sold off to Melbourne or Sydney.

The restorer then rewired and fixed up the lop-sided lean of my poor "throw-away" number. I was able to get a ceiling canopy for it, new light bulbs, some replacement dagon's tears (because six were missing), brass wires and small clear crystals. He did it all while I waited and entertained me with his stories of the chandelier business in Brisbane.

Murano Dragon's Tears crystals. I bought some pink ones to mix in with the blue in the middle tier.

Now that the frame is in good working condition, I just have to clean the 78 crystals. I was told to soak them in Palmolive Green detergent for 20 minutes and give them a wipe with a cotton cloth to get them gleaming again. That is my job for this week while I organise for it to be installed.

The "throw-away" frame awaiting to be adorned with its Murano dragon's tears

This retro chandelier will look fab over our vintage Parker dining table.

Although it is probably not to everyone's taste, we love it and it will be much better than this moth trap.


  1. How fascinating! It will look great I think. I love chandeliers and I'm sure you'll find it becomes super collectable very soon, for more than just the worth of the cystals, but for the design too. What a great buy :)

  2. I love it. Amazing. It will go so well with your stuff. Reminds me to clean mine. Not. I am too scared to touch it!

  3. What a great find! That was a good score. Can't wait to see it over your table.

  4. I like it, I think it's a great find and well worth the effort to clean it up! Rxx

  5. That's going to be fabulous - there's something protective about it as well as its evident opulence. A very good buy!

  6. I think it is fabulous. It has so much character. Those teardrop crystals are wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing it hung.

  7. Oh la la, that is FABulous. Love it heaps!

  8. Very Cool! I love it Anita!! What a Great find! Of course you know I also love that you added those pretty pink tears! Cant wait to see it hanging over your table in all its Beauty!

    Big Hugs ~ Teresa

  9. I love old houses and renovation stories, I'll be following your blog, you're doing a great job!

  10. Hey Anita...throws the frames away? he insane...these are so hard to find!! This will be perfect I love it soooo much, its like a little party on the ceiling, cheers Katherine

  11. Kathrine, I know they are hard to find because people throw them in the rubbish. Oh well I saved one. It might be rare and collectable in years to come.

  12. Anita I've been having a great time catching up on your blog posts. Sorry I haven't dropped by for a while. Been avoiding the computer like the plague. So here I am with my cuppa enjoying views of your fabbo sunroom, your super igranny and that exceptionally cool chandelier. I see the dragon's tear drops in vide greniers over here from time to time and had no idea they were so valuable in Aussie.
    It will certainly make your room lovely and bright for dinner.
    You should shout yourself fabulous retro stuff more often - can you imagine the savings???

  13. I am working my way backwards through your posts - what an interesting and beautiful house! I love Queenslanders, so different from anything in my neck of the woods.

    For me VJs are Vaucluse Juniors, a class of small sailing boats my brothers and husband used to sail on Sydney harbour!

    So pleased to meet you on the interwebs...

  14. Oh it is absolutely GORGEOUS! I am addicted to blue glass and crystal, so this is like my dream chandelier! Plus I am a spider ecologist, so the fact that it is spidery is just a bonus. What a beautiful design. (Can't believe anyone would throw these out!)


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