restored antique lighting

As antique lighting restorers, an interesting debate we often have with customers and fellow dealers is whether to polish brass or copper or to leave the dark, aged finish.

A large proportion of antique lighting is made from brass or copper both of which will oxidise and darken over time. 

Art Deco white glass lighting – for instance a chapel light – is normally fitted with a brass or copper gallery.  A dark aged gallery will give a completely different look to a brightly polished brass one.  Our customers will usually have a strong opinion which finish will best match their room.  This is why we offer to customise our lighting where possible

Our Ashby Collection of Handmade lighting features pendant lights and wall lights made from copper and brass.  These are made to order so we always ask our customers if they would like the rich polish finish preserving.  If so, we will apply a brush lacquer which is invisible once applied.  Some customers want to see their lights naturally age and mature.  It really is a matter of choice. 

An Arts and Crafts chandelier will ideally be in it’s original finish with a darkened patina.   We would never choose to tamper with this beautiful oxidised finish.  It speaks volumes about the history of the piece and cannot be authentically replicated.  However, some items have a different story to tell when they arrive for restoration.  For example an Arts and Crafts table lamp dating back to the early 1900’s  may have been regularly polished, restored badly and have a patchy old lacquer finish.  We are then left with no choice but to strip  every component back to the bare copper or brass and then to make a decision whether to polish or to apply an antiquing fluid.  Both choices would produce beautiful but different results.  Which you prefer really is a matter of choice.

If you would like to discuss a customised lighting  project, please get in touch on 07525773614 or email at

Post Details

Telephone Support

01332 955558 / 07525 773614

Email Ashby Interiors


Ashby Interiors, William's Yard
Derby Road, Melbourne
Derby DE73 8JR.