Chelsom are regularly involved in restoring period lighting and their specialists are trained in the fine art of lighting restoration. Whether upgrading wiring and technology, refinishing metalwork, replacing missing components or simply cleaning and refurbishing fittings, Chelsom are able to transform antique and original lighting pieces with modern light sources whilst remaining sympathetic to the original period aesthetics.
When a Sunday morning parishioner fell straight through the termite-eaten floor of St John’s Cathedral Antigua, it was time for a full building restoration. The ancient central chandelier was shipped to Chelsom in the UK where close examination of the detailed engraving revealed – THE GIFT OF MR PHILIP DARBY TO THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST JOHN’S – research showed that the gift was made on the 2nd May 1740. Originally, the arms simply lifted out to allow replacement of spent wax candles but the 1880’s saw a conversion to oil lamp globes meaning every alternate arm was removed to create space and subsequently eight were lost. In taking the central body apart during restoration, a tiny folded document was discovered with the handwritten text shown above.
Using originals as patterns, eight new arms were cast as were exact replicas of the original drip pans and candle holders. Sympathetic wiring included gold silk covered cable and ivory card candles supporting 7W LED candle lamps. One of England’s finest George II chandeliers will once again grace the Cathedral.