Beginning in the 11th Century brass replaced wood in chandelier design, making the light fixtures larger and more ornate than before. These detailed lights appeared most frequently in areas of public gathering, like churches and abbeys until the 16th century when chandeliers began appearing in homes of the most wealthy and affluent of the population.
In the late 1600s, glassmaker George Ravenscroft introduced the use of leaded glass into the world of lighting design. Rock crystal chandeliers of the 17th Century made use of ancient stones found beneath the Earth’s surface. These unique crystals were the inspiration for the first moulded glass drop crystals created by French glassmakers years later. As these glassmakers experimented further with their designs, the addition of glass floral accents and tinted glass began to make their way into chandeliers as well.
Baroque and Rococo styles later began to take hold of the lighting industry, which inspired the combined use of brass and crystal to create extravagant works of art. Most chandeliers at this time included a variety of decorative accents ranging from flowers and leaves, to cupids. Governmental regulations of glass in England also inspired chandelier designs of this time. Tent and bag style chandeliers were first constructed of broken glass strung together to look like a tent, because broken glass was taxed more lightly than larger pieces during that time.