A circa-1900 Viennese chandelier, $9,300, at New Metal Crafts
A. If you’re looking for antique chandeliers, get ready to have some fun. One amazing shop is Antique Resources (1741 W. Belmont Ave., 773-871-4242; antiqueresourcesinc.com), which has thousands of French, Italian, English, and German chandeliers from about 1700 through the Art Deco period. All have been rewired and are in working order, and every piece is guaranteed for authenticity. The showroom operates as a closed shop because of the museum-quality stock, so either call ahead to make an appointment or be prepared to get the once-over at the door. Once you gain entry, the staff is welcoming and informative. Prices start at $1,000.
If you prefer American antiques, check out the very friendly Stanley Galleries Antiques (2118 N. Clark St., 773-727-5004; stanleygalleries.com), where you’ll find chandeliers circa 1840-1935. All have been restored and rewired; prices range from $100 to $30,000. Owner Ken Stanley has a collection of old lighting catalogs to which he refers when restoring old fixtures to their original design. He has 6,000 glass shades in the basement as well as stockpiles of lamp parts, so you can also bring in your own chandelier for restoration, repair, or to have missing parts replaced.
Architectural Artifacts (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., 773-348-0622; architecturalartifacts.com) stocks chandeliers from Argentina, England, and France at prices ranging from $200 to $20,000. A lighting specialist with his own shop is on site. He can rewire a chandelier for about $30 per socket; replating services are also available. Rewiring and replating usually take one or two weeks.
New Metal Crafts (812 N. Wells St., 312-787-6991; newmetalcrafts.com) sells antique and reproduction fixtures, as well as modern designs. The antiques are European—mostly French—from the late 18th century to the 1920s; the reproductions span the history of decorative lighting. The enormous selection fills two huge buildings (the company represents 150 lighting distributors in addition to selling its own designs). You can spend anywhere from $10 to $100,000 here, says owner Jim Neumann. There is a design and repair department on site, so you can also bring in your own chandelier to get it rewired.
If having too many choices makes you nervous, take a trip to A Lamp and Fixture Shop (3181 N. Elston Ave., 773-866-0220). The store has a nicely edited selection of early 20th-century chandeliers that are clean, rewired, and ready to go ($300-$2,000). The shop also will rewire, reconfigure, reconstruct, and replate fixtures you bring in. Owner Paul Simmon won’t quote a price for repairs over the phone; he examines each piece and gives a free estimate. Repairs take one to six weeks.