Seymour, CT – Grand Light has completed restoration work for the original chandeliers and wall sconces that are on the second floor of the Sanborn Library at Dartmouth College in Hanover New Hampshire. All of these historic chandeliers and wall sconces are made of wood and are covered with ornate resin filigrees. Over the years, many of theses ornate pieces had become damaged or missing. Grand Light Artisans had to replicate several of the missing decorative resin components and was done by creating silicon molds for each and every damaged or missing component. Each chandelier and wall sconce underwent an extensive process of color matching the original finish, including gold leaf highlights and an application of museum grade waxes, thereby restoring these fixtures to their original luster.
The restoration process for these fixtures was very complex as it combined color matching, rewiring, structural repairs, hand carving,and the casting of several components to repair these severely damaged chandeliers and sconces.
Shown above are the silicon molds that were made in order to replicate the outer rings on the candle holders of the chandeliers. This was a two step process that required the replication of the entire candle holder in order to create a single band to make a mold from, which was the part to be replaced on all chandeliers. The entire candle holder was cast in resin (mold 1) and then it was drilled and ground down to only expose the outer ring. A mold was then made of the outer ring, (mold 2) which would serve as the final component. On the original holder, the body was made of wood, and the exterior banding was made of resin so all repairs to the candle holders we done as they had been originally, maintaining historical accuracy.
Shown is a typical candle holder as it was received to Grand Light and what the Grand Light Artisans were able to create. The repairs are flawless and appear as if they were on the chandelier since it was originally manufactured.
In additional the the major repairs to the candle holders, there was damage on the bottom portions on the chandelier body. There was a large band that went around this base and 50% of it was missing on the 3 bodies. Grand Light Artisans were able to remove a piece of the original banding and made a silicon mold to replicate the pieces.
Shown is the lower body of the chandelier that required the replication of the missing banding. The before shows nearly 50% of the original banding missing, After shows the application of the replicated pieces, giving the chandelier body a complete look. All of the replicated components were color matched to match the original finish.
On one of the chandeliers, the bottom finial, at some point, had become missing. There was an attempt to replicate it at an earlier point, but it did not match the detail to the others. Grand Light Artisans then made a mold from an original and were able to cast an identical match.
Shown above are beads that were missing from several of the arms. Beads were replicated using the same process as above. All of the replicated beads are identical matches and all match the existing beads.
On several of the bobeches, much of the resin filigree detail was missing. On each fixture is was different, so molds were unable to be made in order to repair these components. Grand Light Artisans had to build up the areas were the filigree was missing and hand carve the resin to match the surrounding detail. This was a long and tedious process, but the repairs are flawless.
Shown is a picture of the completed restoration. These fixtures are gorgeous and will certainly be enjoyed by the student, faculty, and alumni for many years to come. The wall sconces which face these glorious chandeliers underwent the same restoration process.
On the wall sconces, the outer rings on the candle holders were missing as they were with the chandeliers. The rings were smaller on the sconce, therefore the mold for the chandeliers was not usable. Since there were only two sconces, both of which were not complete, the same process to recreate the outer rings that was done for the chandeliers, was not possible. Grand Light Artisans had to replicate portions of the sconce banding, and reconstruct the outer rings the same way that had been done on the chandelier bodies.
Shown above is a Grand Light Artisan hand carving a section of banding that will be used to repair the outer ring on the cnadel holder. Also, you can see the process of the bobeche repair as it is filed and carved.
Follow the project restoration for Dartmouth College Sanborn Library.
For further information regarding this project you may contact our project manager:
800-922-1469 ext 110