Restored “Elizabethan” chandeliers returned to the Chesme Hall in the Great Palace at Peterhof

This article was researched from Russian media sources and written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2018

On 9th April, the eve of the new summer tourist season at Peterhof, two crystal chandeliers were returned from the restoration laboratories to the Chesme Hall of the Great Peterhof Palace. These chandeliers, made in France in the 18th century, according to the researchers, appeared in the Chesme Hall in the 1770s when the Great Peterhof Palace was redesigned during the reign of the Empress Catherine II.

For two centuries, the chandeliers adorned the Chesme Hall. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), they were evacuated to Sarapul (1800 km east of Leningrad). In 1975, 26 years after the re-creation of the Chesme Hall, the chandeliers were restored to the historic hall. The current restoration is the first since the war.

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The Chesme Hall as it looked before the Great Patriotic War (1941-45)

During the restoration, the chandeliers were inspected for wear and tear: the loose parts were strengthened, bronze was partially restored in places by soldering. According to the available samples, experts were able to produce lost suspensions, as well as glass parts – bottles and rod parts. In addition, the obsolete electrical wiring was replaced.

The chandeliers of the Chesme Hall refer to the “Elizabethan” style named after the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, in whose era they originally appeared. They are distinguished by a special design consisting of many crystal pendants of various shapes and sizes, their numbers almost completely hiding the core of the chandelier. The glass of the chandeliers in the Chesme Hall has an uncharacteristic lilac hue due to the fact that in the 18th century, manganese was added to it. Such chandeliers adorn the famous Mirror Hall in the Palace of Versailles, France and the interiors of palace in Sanssouci and Potsdam in Germany. 

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The beautifully restored “Elizabethian” chandeliers once again hang in the Chesme Hall 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 April 2018