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Saenger Theatre Chandelier Restoration Continues

Restoration Continues on the Saenger Theatre Chandelier

 New Haven, CT – After shop evaluation of the chandelier, it was determined that all of
 the finishes on the components are in various stages of failure and or deterioration.  All of the aluminum painted surfaces have failed with rust, oxidation and pitting present. The large crystal basket  inner frames and outer edges need to be refinished. All of the other bar stock on the cage needs to be touched up where possible without the removal of over 10,000 crystal beads. Additionally, all of the crystal beads strands are in need of re-weaving to the cage. This crochet process requires approximately 32 hours of delicate weaving per cage with stainless steel wire prior to refinishing.

In their current state, cleaning of these components will result in a marginal results to the enhancement of the look of the chandelier so it was decided that each component be refinished. The Crystal Basket frame and Lighting Spindle consisting of steel and brass components. Grand Light Artisans will Bead Blast all steel surfaces (except those supporting crystal in the large baskets) and apply a rust preventive primer and two coats of aluminum paint and a protective lacquer top coat. This fixture originally had a painted silver interior finish thus optimizing the crystal reflectance in combination of the gilded finish, which will also be reworked. The armature consists of a cylindrical crown with acanthus-form ornamentation; from this issue six chains and a shaft that holds a central barrel of eight inches in height and ten feet in diameter with roping at top and bottom. At present, all gilt surfaces show signs of damage; scratches and losses exist throughout. Grand Light artisans will clean all of the gilded surfaces and re-gild all lost passages of chandelier; apply transparent protective coating and retouch with pigments and glazes to achieve artistic unity.




Pictured is the crown of the chandelier. Surfaces were cleaned and removed of rust and grit. Primer was added and then painted antique gold, to match the gilded surface.


This is the bottom light assembly which has some brass and steel components. All have been refinished.





This is the bottom components where all of the lighting spindals will connect.


The crystal basket upper frame and outer edges need to be refinished. All of the other bar stock on the cage needs to be touched up where possible without the removal of the crystal beads.Bottom of Form



 Each of the three large crystal baskets are being re-waeved as a precautionary measure over the existing weaving with 22 guage stainless steel wire. This delicate process requires over 2500 individual weaves attaching the crystals to the frames.


Refinished lighting spindales in staging ready to be re-wired.



Light spindal components being rewired.



Grand Light artisans cleaning and preparing the surface for glazing. 






Shown are components on the top canopy. The originals had sustained significant water damage and were completely refinished with new leaf and color matching patinas prior to application of a protective top coat.




Grand Light artisans are applying initial layer of new leaf.




The original gilding around the sockets due to heat had deteriorated to the point of flaking upon cleaning and required two layers of gilding on the ring vertical flat surfaces while the rope banding was glazed and color matched with patinas while retaining some of the original gilding



Emphasis on attention to every detail includes leafing the outer edges of the new sockets and screws, thus insuring artistic unity. This focus on detail included all metal surfaces that were refinished with paints and patinas.




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