The Maria Theresa chandelier is a stunning piece of house jewelry. I had thought that "gold" finish might mean titanium nitride, a popular and durable bright gold finish. But no: upon opening the box, my heart sank at the dull brownish-yellow paint. It's not very metallic. You can see it's a painted finish from across the room. I was ready to put it back in the box and return it. But on closer inspection, I realized that the fixture could be disassembled by unwiring the dozens of little glass florets that hold it together. It took a couple of hours to strip it to the frame, keeping careful notes and segregating the parts according to their positions. After painting the frame and other metal parts (canopy, chain, spun bowls) with metallic copper spray paint, it took five hours to reassemble it to the same state as it arrived in the box (that is, partially assembled). Partial assembly is not done to make life difficult for customers. Rather, the fully assembled fixture would never survive shipment. It would arrive as a box of twisted metal and broken glass. Just removing all the cling-wrapped foam from the parts takes an hour. But there's no other way to ship it. You don't have to be an electrician to complete the assembly. Anyone who's handy at crafts, jewelry, or assembling flat pack furniture could handle this. Supplied instructions are too minimalist, but the videos at chandeliervideos.com help. Having your own tools and the confidence to improvise helps too. For instance, trying to cram 14 wires into one wire nut is physically awkward, so I wired them in groups of seven, with a pigtail wire between the groups. The chandelier needs a heavy-duty ceiling box, the same as would be used for a ceiling fan, supported between two joists or trusses. Final assembly and hanging it took a couple of hours. The canopy would not slide over the detachable chain link at the top, which is wider than the others. So I gave it the detachable link a "wasp waist" with a pair of vice-grips, by brute force. I spent another hour straightening all the candlesticks -- some of them tilt a bit, but you can carefully bend the socket brackets to true them vertically. Hanging all the crystals took another couple of hours, but it's the most enjoyable part of the work. Even with 15-watt candelabra bulbs (for a total of 195 watts) I usually keep it partially dimmed. Using the 40-watt bulbs each socket is rated for would create a glare bomb. Use separate downlights (recessed or track) to do the heavy lifting of lighting the table surface, and let the chandelier serve as ambient and decorative lighting. Installed, the overall effect is just astronomically over the top -- exactly what I wanted. It rocks the house. Visitors are stopped in their tracks, dumbfounded. It looks like a $3,000 fixture. My only caveat (and the reason for 4 stars instead of five) is the dull as dishwater factory paint, which is not consistent with the quality of an otherwise beautifully appointed fixture. Repainting is possible, but will cost you 6 to 8 hours of tedious work. The photo below shows the Maria Theresa chandelier with metallic copper paint. It turned out to be a big craft project, but worth every minute of those many hours of work.
Very happy with the chandeliers. We did have trouble with the delivery but the distributor was cooperative. We added small lamp shades to finish it off! We get a lot of compliments.
The item is the same shape as the photos but the color in the photo is way off from the actual item received. It's almost a mottled brown / red / copper / gold melange. The crystals are a task and a half, particularly if the chandelier is already hung as is recommended. (NBD just hanging out at the top of a ladder beading fragile crystals with easily-breakable wires.) Otherwise it's beautiful and I look forward to finishing the crystal assembly so that it can be fully enjoyed. I may take a dark brown sharpie to it at some point so it matches my other oil rubbed bronze hardware but will leave it for now. Overall it works for me despite its flaws.
I purchased this for my bedroom - I thought the finish was more of a distressed look. When it arrived, it is a distressed gold. The chandelier does work in my room and I do love it.
If you need further help or information please visit our Online Help Center