The restoration story of our SS20 Collection

4 years ago Posted by: skinflint Lighting History

For more than a decade we've been salvaging and restoring thousands of original and often unique lights from around the globe. Our newly launched SS20 Collection of Art Deco tiered pendant lights is no exception. Echoing the stylised architecture of the 1930s with their geometric stepped and tapered outlines, each piece has been salvaged from Eastern Europe, where their soft diffused glow would have once illuminated lobbies and hallways of grand homes and hotels.

decorative 1930s opaline Czech pendant lightsAbove: A pair of 1930s opaline glass pendants in classic Art Deco style with a tiered profile, part of our SS20 Collection.

Many unique one-off statement pieces such as our decorative 1930s Czech light with its original brass gallery, as well as larger runs like our 1930s opaline ribbed lights by Phillips, could have been lost forever had we not rescued and refurbished them, bringing them back to life. As with all of the lights undergoing treatment in our workshop, the work we do at skinflint is based on preserving and protecting the heritage of each piece, and we aim to restore each piece sensitively - without compromising its character.

Occasionally with some of our lights, we find that whilst the main fixtures are intact, some components are missing, too badly damaged or degraded for our experts to restore or reuse. This was the case for a few of the key pieces featured in our SS20 collection - such as our tiered Czech opaline pendant lights. With this beautiful light, the original gallery was sadly degraded beyond repair. With its rich heritage, elegant finish and its story to tell, our lighting experts were determined to pull together the missing pieces so it could continue to illuminate contemporary spaces.

skinflint lighting experts restoring vintage lights

By investigating old manufacturer’s catalogues in our internal archive, the team managed to find an image of a similar gallery in an original Philips’ catalogue dating back to 1939. This document was pivotal in reconstructing the new gallery as our lighting experts were able to use it to determine the scale and profile needed for the light.

Using intricate design software, our workshop team redesigned the gallery and provided a 2D profile to our metal spinners, who then reconstructed it in copper. With the original glass dating back to the early 20th century, we wanted to stay true to the original design and aesthetic, so we carefully aged the copper and then sealed it, giving the gallery an interesting patinated texture and making it almost identical to its forerunner.

skinflint copper galleries for vintage lights

Each light that comes into our warehouse is carefully examined and refurbished, and we take the time to investigate its history in order to assemble the whole story. Our expert knowledge in vintage lights, as well as our internal archive of manufacturer’s catalogues, were key to reconstructing and replacing the new galleries you see today in our SS20 collection. Now their story can continue to be told for years to come.

Explore our SS20 collection here.