Antique Lighting Glossary

Acid Cutback Dome

Cameo effect of two different types of glass creating a very fine detailed design.

Aesthetic detailing

A short movement in the Victorian period often characterized by sun flowers and jeweled details.

Alabaster Chandelier

Fourteen to twenty inch inverted domes hung from chains or rods. The bowl is made from turned alabaster stone.

Allegorical Light

In the Victorian period certain design details of chandeliers eluded to mythological or literary events.

Applied crowned flower details

The appearance and reappearance of the stylized crown in architectural details.

Amber Glass

Is often found in fixtures of the Arts and Crafts period and would be textured or crackled glass.

Animal head arm backs

The Victorian arms of chandeliers and sconces often had decorative arm backs attached to them that can be figural animals and foliate details.

Antique Brass Finish

Fixtures of earlier periods were often offered with different oxidized finishes like antique brass.


Argand is a form of oil burner that existed in lamps and fixtures in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Art Deco

Is a design style characterized by geometric and stylized foliate detail. An example would be the streamline that you see on 1930’s automobiles.

Art Deco Revival

Art Nouveau

A furniture and accessory design style categorized by organic and floral stylized details.

Arts and Crafts

This period in the US was around 1920 and characterized by hammered metals in lighting and the mission style of lighting fixtures.

Art Nouveau Architectural

Types of buildings similar to the Gaudi style in Barcelona Spain.

Barley Twist

Is a type of furniture leg design on certain English Tables that have a spiral twist.

Bell Lantern

Is a type of colonial lantern characterized by a bell jar with a suspended lid.

Bevel Details

Edging on glass similar to raise panels in wood.

Blown glass

This would be referring to glass created in a oven by a glass blower.


Originally, bobeches were used to catch dripping wax from a candlestick, but today they can be used on chandeliers to accent the candelabra pieces. Many bobeches are also designed with pin holes that can be used to suspend other decorative items such as prisms and other various crystals. Bobeches are elegant pieces that will add class to any chandelier.

Book leaf detail

Scene in the Arts and Crafts movement that looks like pages being turned.

Boston’s South End

A geographical location in one of Boston¹s neighborhoods with many English style townhouses.

Bradley and Hubbard

Was a company that manufactured fixtures in the late 1800¹s.

Brass acanthus leaves

Casted detail of stylized leaves recurring on brass fixtures.


Is a catch all word for brick townhouses.


Type of single family dwelling in the early 1900¹s in the US.

Calcite Inverted Dome

Constructed of glass that through acid cutback creates a cameo design.

Candle design

Electric socket design with metal and cardboard slips reminiscent of early waxed candles.


Is the electric box cover on the top of the chandelier.

Caramel flash glass

Is a very thin glass consisting of clear glass and another color glass.

Caramel Slag Glass

Slag glass is an art glass found in the late 1800¹s – early 1900¹s with striated textural markings.

Carnival Glass

Is an iridescent glass of different colors sold in the 1920¹s and 1930¹s.

Cast Brass

Is molten brass poured into a mold to achieve very fine details.

Cast Brass Holder

Socket cover that holds the shade.

Cast Bronze

Is molten bronze poured into a mold to achieve very fine details.

Cast Glass

Is molten glass poured into a mold to achieve very fine details.

Cast iron

Molten iron poured into a mold to achieve very fine details.

Cast relief

Two dimensional detail ; example sconce backs.

Casted arm backs

Decorative detail on a brass cast fixture arm.

Casted d’ore leaves

Metal leaves with a gold wash.

Casted leaf detailing

Type of foliate detail with the use of leaves.


Approximate date.

Classical environment

Type of details that you would see in Egyptian or Greek and Roman architecture.

Classical Inverted dome

Detailing characterized by lamps , swags, and bows in relief.


Referring to the period of time prior to the American Revolution.

Colonial Revival

The revival of forms characteristic of pre-1776 architecture.

Copper wheel cut design

Cut glass formed on a machine with a copper wheel.

Cornelius and Baker

Was a company established in Philadelphia in the 1850¹s.

Crown Shades

Gas shades that flair out in a cut glass design on the top.

Cut glass

Is glass with detail cut into it on a machine using a copper wheel cut glass body.

Cut glass candle cups, bobeches and prisms

Is glass with detail cut into it on a machine using a copper wheel.


David Gueron, of Turkish origin and a former fighter of the French Foreign Legion, was the founder of the ” Cristalleries De Compiegne”. This glass works mainly produced household glass in the early ’20. David Gueron soon discovered that he wanted more with his capacities in the glass industry. In 1926 he founded a new factory, which he called “Verrerie D’Art Degue” and put his full attention on the designing and production of Art Deco luxury art-glass. His factory was located on the “Boulevard Malesherbes” and his showroom was on the “41 rue de Paris”. Gueron mainly produced vases, lamps and chandeliers. His glass got well known because of it’s full and deep colors, which he achieved with a special process (especially red, orange, yellow and green). Gueron was also guilty of copying designs of other successful French glass artists like Daum, Galle, Muller Freres and Schneider. One can see imitation as the highest form of flattery, but Schneider thought else wise and sued Degue, who not only imitated, but also managed to take on several glass workers of Schneider as well. Schneider eventually won the lawsuit, but the lengthily law process (1926-1932), cost both firms a lot of money and they both almost had to close their factories. When the Second World War started David Gueron shut his glass works. He fled France and was lat seen in Paris in 1949. His factory in Compiegne still stands and is nowadays owned by a company selling tiles and door frames. The old furnace downstairs still has glass melted to its walls.

Dentil detailing and fan motif

Dentil detailing is decorative molding in blocks like stylized teeth. Fan motif is the graduated fluting e.g. bottom of a bowl.

East lake

Furniture and fixture style characterized by flat two dimensional brass castings. Simpler style in reaction to Victorian ornamentation.

1890¹s framed Victorian

Type of Architectural style with basic wood construction. e.g. shingle style Victorian

Embossed banding

Is three dimensional relief repeated in bands .

Embossed body

Referring to the center part of a chandelier where the arms are attached and having a decorative relief design .

Empire Chandelier

Multiple arm chandelier characterized by black and brass metal construction often with cornucopia arms . e.g. as in 6 arm chandelier .

English Tudor

Architectural style characterized by stucco facade with molded wood banding.

Faceted crystal ball

Cut glass in prismatic fashion similar to the way a diamond or other crystal is cut.

Favrile glass

A type of iridescent art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was patented in 1894 and first produced in 1896. It differs from most iridescent glasses because the color is ingrained in the glass itself, as well as having distinctive coloring.


Representing a person or an animal.

Figural Cast Bronze

The technology of poured molten bronze molded into the form of a person or animal.


Decorative finish detail on the top of a lamp or the very bottom of a chandelier.

Flash glass

Form of Art Glass encased with clear glass and another color glass .

Fleur de li

French finial style representing a stylized flower .

Flush Fixture

Closely attached to the ceiling as in 12″ drop .

Frame Shingle Style Victorian

Simple form of circa 1890 Victorian Homes characterized by cedar shingle siding .


A frieze is a pattern which repeats in one direction. Friezes are often seen as ornaments in architecture.

Gargoyles, cherubs , lions heads in relief

Victorian ornamentation often found in chandeliers and furniture from 1890 – 1910 .


Flowered streamers architecturally decorating lighting fixtures, urns and furniture.

Gas Chandeliers

Period following the use of fluids to power chandeliers, gas was manufactured from coal to power chandeliers. This was an improvement from a safety point of view because fluids would tend to flow and drip to cause fire hazards. A typical gas chandelier ( e.g. 3 arm gas chandelier ) would have 3 arms with bowl shades on the end of the arms housing a gas flame that would light the room . The wattage output from gas chandeliers was fairly low.

Gas and Electric Chandelier

During the late 1800¹s, around the beginning of the use of electric incandescent lighting, the Gas and Electric Chandelier is also called transitional combination and G & E form . This chandelier style was derived by the use of incandescent lighting added to the earlier gas chandelier form. Typically for example on a 6 arm gas and electric chandelier you will see the 3 gas arms facing up and the 3 incandescent lighting arms facing down . This is commonly called the combination form.

Gas Harps

Pair shaped single light gas ceiling fixtures commonly found in the hall , foyer of a Victorian Home.

Gas J

Asymmetrical shaped single light gas ceiling fixture commonly found in halls and small areas.

Gold leaf

The use of very thin gold foil applied to surfaces for decorative purposes.

Golden brass patina

The result of aging on the metal finish of a decorative chandelier.

Gothic Detailing

The common use of quatrefoils and trefoils and other details found in medieval times which were revived for chandeliers and furniture in the Victorian period.

Graduated ball crystals

The use of small crystal pieces ranging in size from larger to small strung on a piece of wire or string.

Great Room

400 square feet or larger .

Greek Key design

The use of repeated geometric detailing as banding in a cornice or relief on a chandelier .

Greek Revival

Form of architectural style characterized by porch columns , very high ceilings, and large windows. Commonly seen in the American 1840¹s.

Greek key shades

Glass globes with relief detailing of repeated geometric banding .

Hammered brass

Textured result of repeated peening with a hammer as in the Arts in Crafts Style.

Hammered glass panels

The use of textured glass to be similar in representation to hammered metal.

Heavy Cast Glass Inverted Dome

The use of cast glass in a large bowl supported by chains or rods.

Holophane shades

The use of prismatic glass in a globe form for the purpose of amplifying light.

Frosted Glass

The use of hydrofluoric acid or sand blasting to create a matte finish on clear glass.

Gas cocks

Decorative two piece castings in a gas arm that control the flow of fuel.

Indented design

Decorative detail formed by concave contours on metal surfaces

Inverted dome

Bowl shaped chandelier supported by chains or rods.

Leaded came

Came glasswork is the process of joining cut pieces of art glass through the use of came strips or foil into picturesque designs in a framework of soldered metal. Came is made of different metals, such as lead, zinc, brass and copper.

Leaded glass construction

The use of foil and soldier in creating a mosaic of translucent glass.


The manufacturing of the Longwy pottery started in 1798 with the take over of an old Carmelite monastery, where, during the Empire of the little emperor, a service for : “Les Maisons de la Légion d’Honneur” got ordered and delivered. After the siege of 1815, J. A. Nothomb, together with his partner Christine Boch, perfectionized the clay-past. Their grandchildren, Hyppolite and Henri-Ferdinand d’Huart reacted brilliant on the overwhelming attention for the ceramics from the Middle East. They added the Cloisonné technique to their objects d’art and that was a shot in the rose.

Mantle lamps

Architectural lamps designed to sit on a mantle while illuminating a room .


The use of the mineral mica bonded with shellac to create translucent sheets .

Mica Lantern

Type of Arts and Crafts fixture composed of metal and translucent mica sheets.

Milk Glass

Type of translucent white glass used for chandelier shades.

Molten glass

Glass heated to a high temperature and then formed in different ways.

Moravian Star

A mullti point 3-dimensional lighting fixture representing a star.

Neoclassical style

Furniture style characterized by details found in early Greek and Roman civilization.

Newel Post Lamp

Architectural lamp often of the Gas fixture period that sits on a Newel Post at the bottom of a set of stairs.

Nickel plated

The use of nickel electro plated on another metal often for moisture resistance.

Openwork body

Common in the Gas and Electric period the center body details are pierced in a foliate design .

Painted shades

The use of hand painting in decorating Victorian Chandelier globes.


Coloration of metal finish due to aging.

Pearlite iridescent Inverted Dome

Bowl chandelier composed of translucent glass showing a somewhat rainbow effect.

Pierced metal

Type of decoration created by cutting into metal surfaces.

Polychrome painted finish

Typical multicolored painted finishing done in the Art Deco period.

Pressed glass construction

Technology used to embossed glass by pressing the glass while heated against different patterns.

Quatrefoil design

Four petal design representing a gothic stylized cross.

Quezal Art Glass

Quezal’s wares are known for the use of bold iridescent colors, particularly blue, gold, purple, white and green. These can be compared to Tiffany’s Favrile or Steuben’s Aurene glass.

Renaissance Revival Chandelier

Type of Victorian chandelier constructed with the use of Renaissance details like cartouches, and other massive details.

Reticulated relief

Net like pattern usually that you can see through.

Rococo Revival Fixture

Type of Victorian Chandelier constructed with the use of Rococo period details such as foliate swirls and gold leaf.

Ruby Overlay

Cut to clear glass which is ruby on the outside and clear glass on the inside forming a design .

Schoolhouse shade

One of the many milk glass design globes found on fixtures in commercial and other non- residential settings around the turn-of-the-century.

Scroll arm detail

Type of architectural detail that spirals from a center point that it continues to encircle.

Serpentine arms

Type of architectural detail representing the movement of a snake.

Serpentine Lantern

Type of lighting fixture constructed with the representation of undulating movement.

Sheffield style Colonial Revival

Type of embossed metal style often seen in silver plated wear of the 19th century.

Shell Motif

As or representing a sea shell.

Slip panel

Similar to the slip shade in Art Deco chandelier with the use of a flat panel.


Slumping is a kilnforming process that uses heat and gravity to transform sheet glass into the shape of a mold. One can to create an almost endless variety of forms when slumping glass.

Smoke bell

A type of hanging Bell shape shade for the use of dispersing smoke caused by a flame and usually found on hall lanterns and gasoliers.


Metal relief achieved by squeezing brass on metal between two forms.

Stenciled design shades

Similar to transferred etched except the stencil design is created by applied painting.

Steuben Acid cutback cameos

Technology used in calcite shades where the color of one glass is shown through the different color of the second piece of glass when they are cased together and then acid etched.

Steuben Art Glass

Tam-o’-chanter shade

Type of oil shade found on 19th century fixtures and lamps similar in shape to the tam-o¹-shanter hat.

Thistle transfer etched Gas shades

Type of acid etched design representing flowering thistle plants.

Transfer etched shades

Technology used with glass and hydrofluoric acid to etch shades and create an often floral design.


Referring to the time period going from the 19th century to the 20th century.

2 5/8 Gas shade

Type of glass gas chandelier shades with 2 5/8² diameter base often acid etched, frosted and wheel cut , found on American Gas Chandeliers in the 1850¹s and 1860¹s.

Venetian Glass Chandelier

Type of glass chandelier crafted by the glass artisans associated with the glass companies of Venice, Italy.

Victorian pendant

Single light ceiling fixture e.g. Gas Harp, Gas J , Gas Lantern

Victorian Period

Roughly the period of the rein of Queen Victoria which started in the early 19th century and ended in the 20th century.

Welsbach burners

Type of gas burner developed by the Welsbach fixture Company in the late 19th Century.

White slag glass

Type of Art glass characterized by textured striations often used in leaded glass construction.

Wrought iron

Iron construction that is created by the use of heating iron and pounding it into a shape with a hammer.

Zipper shades

Type of holophane shade with a prismatic pattern of parallel lines similar to a fabric zipper.