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Cable
Multiple wires arranged in a common covering of insulating plastic or other materials and used as an electrical conductor.
Cameo
A small semiprecious stone or a shell carved in relief and used as ornament. Also, any low-relief Neoclassical profile of a figure, often in pottery or painted metal.
Candela
A candela (cd) is the unit of measurement of luminous intensity of a light source in a given direction.
Candelabra
A table-top version of a chandelier. Candelabras are commonly comprised of a weighted base, a column, a small body from which the arms, waxpans, and candle-cups spring.
Candle
A light source of wax or tallow, usually cylindrical shaped, accreted around a yarn or cord wick, which when burning, provides steady light by drawing the molten wax up towards the flame. The wick burns only incidentally as the true source of combustion is the wax.
Candle Cup
A ferrule for a candle or candle sleeve. A candle cup is usually positioned above the bobeches, last in the sequence of parts of a chandelier or sconce arm.
Candle Lighting
Candles were first used in lighting fixtures in Egypt in the form of rush or reed-pith dipped in beeswax. The materials and techniques for making candles varied over the next ~3000 years but they were basically all vegetable-based wicks in animal fats or beeswax. Candle powered fixtures share some basic attributes that are appreciable in their form. They need a cup or pricket in or on-which to hold the candle. They need a pan or shallow bowl to catch the drippings. The candles are often held away from each other and from the central stem to not melt each other, and to disperse light evenly. The invention of the argand lamp in the 1790s and the kerosene lamp in the 1840s spelled the end of commercial candle power, but not of the aesthetic appeal of candle light.
Candle Sleeve
A candle sleeve is a cylinder of material (metal, paperboard, ceramic, or glass) that covers the electrical socket or gas nipple, with the decorative intention of appearing like a candle.
Candlepower
Luminous intensity of a particular light source expressed in candela.
Candlestick Lamp
An electric fixture that has a tall, slim column modeled after a traditional single candle stick.
Canopy
The canopy is a decorative ceiling mount, most often a dome or bell, for a hanging light. The canopy serves to cover the electrical or gas junction box in the ceiling.
Capital
The decorative crowning motif atop a column or pilaster shaft, usually composed of moldings, volutes, and foliate ornament. The most characteristic feature of each classical architectural order.
Capiz
A thin, translucent, slightly amber, natural shell material used in lighting fixture lenses.
Cartouche
A shield or ovoid form with curved or rolled edges suggesting a scroll shape. Often used as a surround for crests and inscriptions.
Caryatid
A column in the form of a female figure. Derived from Greek architecture, it is most famously used on the porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis at Athens.
Cased Glass
Cased glass is glass formed by layering two or more different colors of glass together. Sometimes for decorative effect the top layer is wheel-cut back to reveal a lower contrasting-colored layer. It is sometimes referred to as "overlay glass.” White-over-clear cased glass is more translucent than solid white glass as the layer of opaque white is thinner. The process for producing cased glass articles starts with the glass blower gathering a small amount of one color glass on the end of the blow-pipe, forming a bubble, and re-immersing that bubble into a different colored glass, thereby building up layers.
Cast Glass
Cast glass is glass that has been poured, and often pressed, into a mold. The resulting glass object bears the details of the mold. The casting process can produce great wall thicknesses, asymmetrical designs, and crisp relief.
Cast Iron
Cast iron is an alloy of iron and small amounts of carbon and silicon. It has a low melting point and flows well and is used extensively for casting. It is very machinable (drilling, turning, etc.) but is brittle and not cold-formable like wrought iron.
Casting
The act of pouring molten metal into a mold, or any part manufactured in this manner.
Chain
A series of flexible links of ovals, circles, rectangles, or other shapes interconnected to form a strong support for a hanging chandelier or pendant, or other fixture and usually made of metal.
Chandelier
The word derives from candle-maker (chandler). A ceiling-hung lighting fixture designed usually with multiple projecting arms. Chandeliers are more often designed to spread light horizontally for general room illumination, as opposed to vertically, as in the case of a pendant. Chandeliers are commonly used to illuminate dining rooms, living rooms, large processional and ceremonial spaces, and large foyers.
Chasing
The finishing steps in producing finely detailed metalwork, most commonly used in cast objects. The surface of the metal is hammered by the craftsperson, or chaser, with hundreds of different minute chisels each producing finer definition in lines, accentuating beading, or hatching and matting background surfaces, etc.
Chimney
A blown glass tube of various shapes placed around flame to protect it against wind. When not used with an open flame, it is principally for ornamentation and light diffusion.
Chinoiserie
European adaptation of Oriental designs popular mainly during late 17th-century French, Rococo and Regency periods, although persisting through the Art Deco period as well. Motifs used include pagodas, fretwork, dragons, monkeys, and fans. Hallmarks of the style are asymmetrical compositions, lacquered surfaces, and blue-on-white porcelains.
Chippendale
Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) was one of the most famous cabinet makers of 18th-century England. His work shows a refinement of Georgian styles, influenced by the Gothic, Chinese, and French Rococo. He was the first of his era to popularize the use of mahogany rather than walnut, the prevailing wood in the Early Georgian period. In 1754 he published "The Gentlemen's and Cabinetmaker's Directory," disseminating his designs and interpretations of styles.
Cloissone
A type of enamelware in which the various colors are separated and held by delicate metal partition filaments, or“cloissons”. Used frequently for lamp bases, cigarette boxes, and ash trays.
Cluster
The junction element between a lower group of several chains or stems and a single upper chain or stem. Also known as a cluster body.
Column
A column is a type of lamp or chandelier body, or a component of a larger chandelier body. See also "Body".
Copper
A chemical element (symbol Cu). Copper is a metal of peachy-red color. It is very malleable at room temperature and workable into many forms (sheet, wire, plate, rod) with most common manufacturing techniques except casting which is of more than average difficulty for this metal.
Copper Wheel Engraving
A technique of decorating the surface of a glass object. Copper disks or wheels are rotated on a spindle. An abrasive mixed with oil is applied to the edge of the wheel. The wheel presses the abrasive against the glass so that it removes the surface by grinding.
Cornucopia
A decorative motif consisting of a horn or basket shaped as a horn and overflowing with fruit and foliage.
Cove
An element with a concave section. In lighting design, a cove is a channel, high on a wall, that conceals indirect lighting.
Crossbar
A crossbar is a metal strap that spans the opening of an electrical junction box and allows for the attachment of a light fixture.
Crystal
See “Rock Crystal” and “Cut Leaded Glass".
Cut Glass
A method of decorating glass whereby portions of the glass are removed by grinding and polishing.
Cut Leaded Glass
Commonly mistaken for crystal, which is mineral quartz, cut leaded glass is actually the material of most “crystal” chandeliers. There are great, antique, royal-palace quality cut glass chandeliers and lousy quality pressed glass chandeliers, but neither of them are actual mineral quartz. Good cut glass lighting is made of high lead content glass that allows for glass of almost total clarity and for the glass to be cut and polished to a high luster. The term "crystal" has crept into common use to denote high quality cut leaded glass.