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Ceiling lights

The ceiling lights, which are early examples of Erzgebirge mining art, were already part of the Christmas decorations usually made by craftsmen for use in their own home in the first half of the 19th century.

Origin

When and where exactly the Christmas ceiling lights originated from is unknown. One theory bases the origin in mining pit timber, which with arms inserted on the sides fitted with little rape oil lamps, was used as lighting underground. The pit timber was also hung up on Christmas Eve in the mines, which is why it probably entered into the Christmas tradition. One second theory assumes that the miner copied the magnificent crystal and brass lights to be found in churches and stately homes for his festive lighting at home out of the cheaper material timber.

Deckenleuchter
Schwebeengel

Kinds of ceiling lights

Ceiling lights appear in two basic types: as candelabras and chandeliers. Their arms can be very easily artistically decorated or designed in detailed fretwork and little figures can be added to stand on the arms, or so-called “Bammeln”, ornaments which hang down.
The candelabra is also called a Spinnenleuchter (spider candelabra) or Bergspinne (mining spider) in German. It consists of a central spindle turned on a lathe into which candelabra arms are inserted on one or several tiers. Candelabras with s-shaped curved arms were produced in particular in the Seiffen region.

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