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  • n. Fr < OFr chandelabre < L candelabrum < candela, candle. Lighting fixtures designed to be hung that have two or more arms, usually curved, holding candles, burners or bulbs. Chandeliers evolved from candelabra and were invented during medieval times, consisting of horizontally crossed or radiating and suspended arms and were composed of bronze or iron arms loaded with ornaments, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries. The 18th century saw the beginning of more lavish chandeliers adorned with numerous glass pendants. Neoclassical motifs became increasingly common, especially in cast metal, but also in carved and gilded wood. Advances in glass manufacture allowed cheaper production of lead crystal, whose light-scattering properties quickly made it popular, leading to the cut crystal chandelier, which was dominant from about 1750 until at least 1900. With the widespread introduction of gas and electricity the chandelier's appeal as a status symbol was devalued. Modern chandeliers often use LEDs and combine elements of classical and contemporary designs.

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