Castings & Forgings
Every 20th Century Lighting fixture is made individually by hand with cast or spun brass components and forged wrought iron elements - formed, assembled and finished, one at a time, in the same manner that was employed when the predecessors of these fixtures were made 70 – 100 years ago. No assembly line mass production processes are used. For this reason, slight variations will exist from fixture to fixture. No two will be identical.
All but a few of the fixtures are constructed of hand cast solid brass components unless the piece is made of wrought iron (See Note 1). On most of the fixtures, brass tubing and/or spun brass components are combined with the cast components to achieve the final construction. The primary benefit of solid brass construction is that the brass will not rust or corrode and therefore provides an excellent, stable base over which to apply the finish.
Glass & Mica
20th Century Lighting offers six different glass options for the fixtures that come with glass & mica. These glass options are:
1. Clear Textured Glass (A clear glass with humps & bumps)
2. Yellow Textured Glass (A light-yellow clear glass with humps & bumps)
3. Clear Seeded Glass (Looks like antique clear hand blown & rolled glass with lots of bubbles)
4. Yellow Seeded Glass (Looks like antique yellow hand blown & rolled glass with lots of bubbles)
5. Opalescent (A smooth white ‘stained’ glass with a touch of opalescence)
6. Amber Textured Glass (A dark orangish – yellow clear glass with humps & bumps)
7. Amethyst Textured Glass (An amethyst colored clear glass with humps & bumps)
8. White / Yellow Stained Glass (A stained glass with varying shades of white and yellow streaked together)
All glass is approximately 1/8” thick.
In addition, 20th Century Lighting offers mica on several sconces and chandeliers. Mica (formerly known as ‘Eisenglas’) is a flaky, mineral like material that is rolled into flat sheets approximately 1/64” thick. Our mica comes in two colors. The first is a yellowish orange-brown that has mottled color variations. We call this the "Dark Mica" option. The second is a very light slate gray brown color, again with mottled color variations. This one we refer to as the "Light Mica" option. Please note that you can order mica as a glass option on any of the fixtures shown in glass, but you cannot order glass as an option on any of the fixtures shown with mica; the reason being that the mica is easily shaped to curves while the glass is not.
Natural beeswax ‘candle drip’ socket covers are provided with all fixtures. Two color options, tan and ivory, are available. Unless specified otherwise at the time the order is placed, fixtures ordered with the silver colored finishes (Old Nickel, Satin Nickel, Antique Silver and Pewter) come with the ivory wax socket covers and fixtures ordered with the other finishes come with the tan wax socket covers.
The wax socket covers get soft and the wax will begin to ‘sag’ when light bulbs with more than a 40-watt rating are used. All fixtures are rated to carry up to 60-watt bulbs, so if 60-watt bulbs are used please be aware what will happen to the wax candle covers. If you must use 60-watt bulbs and the ‘soft wax’ becomes a problem, then the wax socket covers can simply be changed out for plastic or paper socket covers. We have available, for substitution, paper socket covers so if you would rather have these, please specify such when placing your order.
Please note that even though the wax sleeves are rated for a 40-watt light bulb, they may start to melt even when a 40-watt bulb is used under some circumstances. Shades covering the light bulb, nearby heat sources, direct sunlight and high atmospheric pressure are all examples of external forces that will affect how and when the wax will melt, i.e. the heat given off by the light bulb is not the only factor helping the wax to melt.
Needless to say, once the wax socket covers leave our facility, we have no control over the environment they are used in. Consequently, our policy is to not replace them if they melt for any reason. If replacements are desired, they may be purchased as follows:
* 6” Medium Base (Ivory or Tan) $15.00ea
* 4” Medium Base (Ivory or Tan) $12.50ea
* 4” Candelabra Base (Ivory or Tan) $10.00ea
We also have paper sleeves available for purchase. They are available in a 4” or 6” medium base or a 4” candelabra base. The cost for any of these is $3.50 ea.
As an option, lampshades for our sconces, chandeliers and lamps are available. These shades are made of an ivory Chinese pongee silk laminated over an opaque white styrene backing. These shades have self-tuck, hand rolled edges with trim on both the top and bottom. All shades are displayed on one or more of the fixtures in the catalog. The ‘Notes’ column of the Shade Price Sheet gives a referral to the respective catalog pages for each shade.
Custom orders on lampshades are accepted, however, only in minimum quantities of 25 shades or more.
Please note that sconce no. 1075-Windsor II and chandeliers 2012-Bonaventure, 2013-Commodore, and 2023-Augustine come standard with hand sewn silk shades which are purchased as an integral part of the fixture.
Many of our sconces come with a mirror in the back plate. You have your choice of either regular or an “Antique Mirror’ which is new mirror treated to look old and distressed. Please specify your preference when you place your order.
On most of the sconces and chandeliers we can add crystals to create a totally different look for the fixture. Adding crystals to the bobesches is fairly easy. On some models we can easily add crystals to the fixture body and arms as well. The addition of crystals is handled as a custom order, so please feel free to call and discuss your design ideas.
Chandelier Chain Length
Because our chandeliers vary in size, we do not have a standard chain length for all chandeliers. In the ‘Notes’ column of the price sheets you will find the standard chain length for each chandelier. If you require more or less than what is standard, please specify this when you place your order. Additional chain is $15 per lineal foot, regardless of finish.
Virtually every one of our fixtures can be adapted to be for candlepower only. We simply eliminate all electrical components and add candle cups to hold the candles as necessary. Please specify your desire to have ‘candles only’ when you place your order.
As an aside, one of our chandeliers, No. 2006 – Frontenac, comes standard with cups for 16 candles – a very romantic piece.
Electrical junction boxes in our customer’s walls vary dramatically in size and shape. Depending on whether your project is new or older construction, you may or may not have any control over the junction box (j-box) that your sconces will attach to. If you do have control, we recommend that you specify a 4 square box with a 3” ring cover plate. This will allow you to select most of our sconces without having to worry about the back-plate not fully covering the j-box.
In situations where the back-plate of the selected sconce will not fully cover the j-box, you still have some options. On some models we have a larger size back-plate available (See the “Notes” column of the price sheet). In addition, we have a 4 ½” round brass disc that can go between the j-box and the sconce back-plate and be finished either the same as the sconce or the wall surface.
All of the 20th Century Lighting finishes are intended to make the fixtures look as if they are truly 50 – 100 years old, exhibiting the characteristics of aged pieces that have been well cared for over that period of time. As with the construction process, the finishing process for 20th Century Lighting fixtures is done piece by piece, one fixture at a time. Consequently, variations in the finishes will occur.
The following ten finish options are available on most fixtures:
1. Antique Brass
2. Worn Blackened Paint
3. Distressed Painted Iron
4. Old Nickel
5. Satin Nickel
6. Tarnished Copper
7. Oil Rubbed Bronze
8. Antique Silver
10. Aged Gold
Finish sample ring sets of the finishes are available for purchase – See Tear Sheets & Finish Samples below.
The Antique Brass finish exhibits the most variation of the ten finishes. When antiqued, the brass can be controlled to yield a range from a light gold color to a dark brown color. Unless ordered differently, this finish will be in the medium range – showing the dark brown in the recesses of the fixture with lighter ‘highlight’s on the raised portions with the overall body being a medium gold-brown color. For orders that specify the Antique Brass finish other than that in the medium range, a match sample should be submitted upon placing the order. (See Note 1)
Worn Blackened Paint
The Worn Blackened Paint Finish is a hand applied, painted finish that simulates a finish one would visualize on an aged iron piece that has been painted, weathered over time, painted again, weathered again over more time, and painted yet again, over & over, over many years and then revived with a good cleaning, wire brushing and waxing to yield a soft luster patina. This finish is ideally suited for the fixture models that imitate old iron, but can also achieve remarkable results when used on pieces with a contemporary design. So don’t let the ‘old iron’ nature of this finish limit your creativity in matching finishes to fixtures.
Distressed Painted Iron
The Distressed Painted Iron Finish is similar to the Worn Blackened Paint but differs in that a texture is applied to achieve more of a weathered, ‘chipping and flaking paint’ look. This finish is especially suitable for the iron pieces # 1039, 1067, 1078, 1094, 1124A&B, 1126, 1135 & 1144, since these pieces are ‘new’ wrought iron and look very much like freshly painted new wrought iron unless they are given some help in the aging process via this finish. This finish is prone to chip and flake over time, especially if used outdoors. However this only enhances the distressed nature of the finish.
To achieve the Old Nickel Finish the fixtures are plated with a tough, durable nickel coating and then slightly aged. This finish will not tarnish over time like some of the other plated finishes. Try using this finish on some of the ‘Old World’ fixtures to achieve more of a contemporary look.
The Satin Nickel Finish receives the same tough, durable nickel coating as the Old Nickel, but rather than getting an aged treatment, the finish gets a satin polish that dulls down the shine to a low sheen. This finish is also good for giving a contemporary edge to the fixtures.
Fixtures that are plated with this finish age the same as any piece of solid copper. With time the pinkish orange color oxidizes to produce a deep reddish brown hue similar to that on copper cookware.
Oil Rubbed Bronze
This finish simulates the finish one would fine on an extremely weathered piece of bronze that has been revived by repeated applications of polishing with oil and wax. This is a very stable finish and does not change much over time.
The Antique Silver finish closely resembles the finish you might remember on your Grandmother’s silver tea service. In producing this finish the fixtures are plated with a very durable, true silver plate that tarnishes just like your Grandmother’s silver tea service and also requires polishing once a year. See the discussion on Polishing and Lacquering below.
The Pewter finish is a hand applied finish that is very stable over time and does not quickly age or tarnish. This finish is excellent for fixtures that are going into a ‘Country French’ décor.
Fixtures with this finish are plated with 24k gold. Because of the expense associated with this finish, the plated coating is rather thin making this finish rather delicate. No attempts should be made to polish this finish since, like gold plated bathroom fixtures, the finish will ultimately be rubbed right off. This finish tarnishes very slowly over many years and should not require polishing.
Cleaning & Polishing
No attempt should ever be made to clean a fixture with any chemicals, detergents or abrasives. Since any of the plated finishes will tarnish, they can simply be polished just as you would polish, say, a silver-plated candlestick. We use a product called Nevr-Dull manufactured by The George Basch Co., Inc. Freeport, New York, 11520 and available at most hardware stores. This product is a soft cotton like pad treated with a chemical that you use to rub off the tarnish. We like it because it doesn’t leave a white residue like most silver creams and the fixtures can be easily buffed up after removing the tarnish.
A thin protective lacquer coating can be applied to any of the 20th Century Lighting fixtures after the final finish has been applied. This will slow down any further ‘aging’ of the finish. The cost to lacquer a fixture is an additional cost as listed on the Price Sheet. In addition, please add a one-week lead-time for fixtures to be lacquered.
Please note that to clean fixtures that have been lacquered, only a soft damp cloth should be used to wipe away dust. Do not attempt to polish a fixture that has been lacquered, as this will destroy the lacquer coating. Also, please note that the lacquer coating will tend to ‘yellow’ over time and will scratch if rubbed with any abrasive.
Light sockets provided on 20th Century Lighting fixtures are either the standard medium base socket or the candelabra socket. On most fixtures the medium base sockets can be interchanged with the candelabra sockets and visa versa. If you want a socket type other than what is shown in the catalog photograph, please specify such in your order. If the sockets cannot by interchanged, you will be notified before work is started on your order.
All 20th Century Lighting Fixtures are electrically rated to accept a maximum 60-watt light bulb in each socket. Whether the socket is a candelabrum or medium base does not affect the maximum bulb rating. The style of bulb (round vs. torpedo vs. flame tip, etc.) is purely a design choice.
Please note that most fixtures are supplied standard with the faux beeswax resin drip candle covers. These have replaced the natural beeswax socket covers used in the past - the look is very similar but these will not melt and will not collect dirt.
On/off switches located on the actual fixture, rather than wall switches controlled many of the original sconces used in the early 20th Century. 20th Century Lighting sconces do not come with switches on the fixture, but can be added for an additional $55.00 per switch. The switches we use are the standard rotary switch and will be finished in the same finish as the sconce itself. Unfortunately, dimmer switches that mount on the fixture are not available.
On most models we will locate the switch in a convenient spot so as to not deter from the design. However, some models do not have such convenient spots and the placement of the switch may interfere with the overall aesthetics. Please consider this point when selecting a sconce model that requires a switch.
Our website is located at www.20thCenturyLighting.com where you will find our online catalog. In addition, the website index pages allow you to sort the fixtures by style category which allows you to quickly browse through all the fixtures to find the ones that fit the style your looking for. The style categories on the website are: Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, French, Georgian, Gothic, Moderne, Spanish Colonial and English Tudor.
Please know that surprisingly good quality tear sheets can be printed from the website. This makes for an excellent time saving tool for corresponding with others involved in the design and selection process.
A finish sample ring set comprising a sample of each of the ten different finishes is available upon request at a cost of $75.00, which includes shipping and handling.
Placing and Receiving Your Order
Please be aware that we are not currently set up to accept orders directly over the website. We are working on getting this part of the website automated as well - we will send out updates as we get closer to achieving this. For now, please fax or e-mail your orders to us directly.
Custom modifications can be made to most of the 20th Century Lighting fixtures. The additional cost of the modifications depends on the difficulty involved. Adding or removing arms on sconces or chandeliers can typically be done without great difficulty. Changing the size on, say, a cast sconce back plate creates greater difficulty and expense since a new mold must be created. We encourage you to call and discuss your custom requirements.
All orders must be paid in full prior to shipping. We encourage payment in full at the time the order is placed, since our lead times are so short. If full up-front payment is not possible, then a 50% deposit must be received to start the order.
Delivery Lead Times
20th Century Lighting makes every effort to get your fixtures to you as soon as possible without sacrificing any quality. On most of our orders we are able to ship out within 2-3 weeks of receiving payment in full.
If you are dealing with a short lead-time, we encourage you to call and check for stock. We carry a significant components inventory and are very capable of helping you with quick deliveries.
Shipping and handling charges are specific for each fixture. Please refer to the price sheet for these charges, which should be added to the total order at the time the order is placed.
All shipping unless specified and agreed to otherwise by 20th Century Lighting is done via UPS or Fed Ex Ground. Shipping for the larger chandeliers is contracted with other shippers, depending on the ship to address.
20th Century Lighting insures all products we ship. If any package arrives with damage to the contents, please advise us immediately. Please be sure to keep the boxes and packing material with the damaged merchandise in the same condition as it was received and opened. This is very important to enable us to process the insurance claim.
Returns & Exchanges
20th Century Lighting does not accept returns. We will, however, accept fixtures returned in exchange for other fixtures purchased, if the exchange order is placed within 30 days of 20th Century Lighting shipping the original order. The value of the replacement exchange fixtures must equal or exceed the value of the returned fixtures. A 25% restocking fee will be charged on all returned orders for exchange.
We recommend that a qualified electrician be employed to install all 20th Century Lighting fixtures. Installation instructions are provided with every fixture. They are also viewable on this website by clicking clicking here.
Installation Over Mirrors
If you wish to install a sconce over a fixed, permanently installed mirror, please let us know of your intent to use the sconce over a mirror when you place your order. Since we have several different installation methods and not all of these methods will work for a mirror installation, we can adapt the scone so it can easily be installed on your mirror.
Sconce model nos. 1039, 1067, 1078, 1094, 1122, 1124A,B&C, 1126 & 1135, 1141, 1142, 1145 & 1161 are made primarily of hand-forged wrought iron or hand formed sheet metal components and we combined with cast brass components. To produce the Antique Brass finish on these fixtures, they are first plated in brass and then antiqued.