The 5 Most Expensive Chandeliers From Around The World

Chandeliers are designed to attract attention. Originally intended as a practical way to get more light to places where it was needed, over time chandeliers grew to become status symbols.

After this, designs became more elaborate and ornate, and eventually the richest families in Europe were competing to outdo each other in the elegance and sophistication of their chandelier designs.

Today, modern collectors are willing to pay what could only be described as extravagant sums of money to gain possession of these unique historic artefacts.

While it's possible there are some eccentric billionaires who have paid even higher prices to get custom designed modern chandeliers for their homes, this information isn't generally available to the public. So what follows is the highest prices known to have been paid for chandeliers based on auction results.

1. Givenchy Royal Hanover

Way back in 2011, an eight branched chandelier from the Givenchy Royal Hanover collection, designed by William Kent in 1736, was sold at auction for the equivalent of about £6.9 million ($9 million) at Christie's.

chandelier designed by william kent

William Kent was an eclectic designer of all kinds of things from homes to barges. This particular piece was an ornate piece of silverwork featuring an iron cross above a crown supported by cherubim, tapering to a stem supporting the eight intricately carved candlestick branches.

2. Baron de Redé's cut glass chandelier

The second-most expensive chandelier sold at auction up to the time of writing came nowhere near the lofty heights of the Givenchy piece, fetching a still jaw dropping sum of around £1.3 million ($1.7 million) at Sotheby's in 2005.

Originally a fixture in the Hotel Lambert in Paris, which hasn't been a hotel in a very long time, this exquisite cut glass chandelier finished in varnished gilt bronze, was a remarkable piece of lighting engineering for its time.

The inner bundle of cut glass pieces helped scatter and amplify the light from the many candlesticks around the perimeter of the chandelier, which is thought to have been created some time between 1745 and 1750.

3. André-Charles Boulle eight light gilt bronze chandelier

André-Charles Boulle made a name for himself as a cabinet maker, yet here he seems to have turned his attention to lighting design. The very simple nature of the work, much less ornate than either of the above items, belies its auction price of £1.12 million ($1.47 million).

4. Alberto Bruni Tedeschi Imperial Chandelier

Possibly made at the request of Emperor Napoléon, this multi-tiered chandelier showed no restraint in terms of its extravagance, which is kind of ironic given the revolutionary idealism that is supposed to have been behind Napoléon's rise to power.

Dripping with ostentation, the chandelier features an upper part joined to the lower part by a series of glass rods, upper and lower parts being gilt bronze festooned with copious cut glass beads.

This very elaborate item is believed to have been created around 1812 and sold for around £994,000 ($1.3 million) at Sotheby's.

5. Alberto Bruni Tedeschi gilt bronze and cut crystal chandelier

From the same collection, this much less extravagant but still opulent piece of 19th century lighting technology was sold by Sotheby's for about £765,000 ($1 million). It remains the fifth and final chandelier item to have sold at auction for at least $1 million.