Since I’m off to Bath this weekend, here are the eighteenth-century chandeliers from the Bath Assembly Rooms. First, two of three chandeliers from the Tea Room (tea was included in the price of a ball ticket, quite rightly).
The chandeliers were made by William Parker for the opening of the rooms in 1771. I could say that I took such dark pictures so that I could show you how much their candles would have been needed at an evening ball, and how thrilling it would be trying to spot your beau in the phalanx of officers and gossips. But really it’s because I don’t have an external flash for the Pentax.
Jonathan Collett had made five chandeliers for the Ballroom, but when a branch cracked off and narrowly missed the artist Thomas Gainsborough, they were hastily replaced with more by Parker. Collett used the rejected heavier branches to create a composite chandelier for the Octagon Room, where presumably they would be safe from room-shaking minuets.