Founded in 1870 by Adolf Schonbek in Bohemia, by 1895 they had created a 600-candle crystal chandelier that topped 27 feet tall for the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad, India, solidifying its reputation as the premier global manufacturer of custom-made crystal chandeliers.
In 1947, Schonbek had relocated to Montreal, Canada and by 1972 had settled into its current headquarters in Plattsburgh, New York. In addition to their traditional chandelier offerings, beginning in 2004, Schonbek introduced the Geometrix Collection, a modern and contemporary line of products from chandeliers and pendants to wall sconces and lamps.
Today, you can find Schonbek chandeliers in some of the most famous residences in the world, including the White House and Buckingham Palace. Your home can be next.
Why does Lamps.com love Schonbek?
Well, first of all, Schonbek fixtures look amazing, we even have one hanging in our showroom! From the more traditional look of the Rhiannon chandelier and the Plaza pendant, to the ultra modern Da Vinci crystal ball, Schonbek and Swarovski offer something fabulous for everyone! Schonbek truly knows how to make their lights the center of attention in a room.
Schonbek Crystal Types
Swarovski Elements is the premium brand for the finest crystal elements manufactured by Swarovski. Available in a wide array of colors, these elements provide a fabulous palette of inspiration for designers. These crystals are machine cut and polished to perfection. So much detail is taken that a miniature logo is engraved in each and every crystal to prevent imitation.
Spectra Crystal stands for machine cut Swarovski crystal with reliable Swarovski quality. Spectra crystal has been a registered trademark since 1999 and offers the most important cuts in clear crystals.
Hand-cut and remarkably refractive, optic crystal was formerly used exclusively in optical and scientific instrumentation, until Schonbek’s engineers began to incorporate it into chandelier design. Optic Handcut crystal is also available in select Jewel Tones colors.
Heritage Handcut crystal is cut by hand in two stages, first on an iron and then a sandstone wheel. Each crystal is then polished on a wood wheel with marble dust. Heritage Handcut crystal is the most authentic, handcrafted crystal in the world.
This machine-cut crystal is characterized by visual purity, sharp faceting and precise polishing that offers clarity at industry standards.
Recalling the fashions of a bygone era, these fanciful beads, dainty droplets and antique-style faceted ovals are woven into chains creating a jewel-like brilliance. Vintage Crystal is also available in a selection of Jewel Tones colors.
Legacy Crystal comes from the traditional glass-making region around Venice. Modestly priced compared to cut crystal, this Venetian crystal is molded and fire-polished to produce a subtle luminosity.
When Adolf Schonbek began crafting chandeliers in 1870, social life was illuminated by candlelight. This weak flickering light was refracted and magnified by quartz pendants adorning the chandeliers. The same crystal that illuminated the grand palaces of Europe centuries ago is still available to those who value lighting as an art form and a Schonbek chandelier as a work of art. Rock crystal is mined, not manufactured and therefore it cannot be mass-produced. Skilled gem cutters grind, cut and polish each rock crystal by hand to enhance its splendor and luminosity. No synthetic process will ever replicate the natural prismatic beauty of rock crystal.
Mandy's Crystal Cleaning Tips
All Schonbek products are of heirloom quality and will last for generations. To ensure the crystals maintain their brilliance for years to come, regular cleaning and care are necessary. Schonbek recommends that the fixture, particularly the crystal trim, be lightly dusted with a feather duster, lambs wool duster or soft brush every two months, with a thorough cleaning every six months.
Before cleaning your Schonbek chandelier, pendant, lamp or wall light, please get a copy of your specific fixture’s trim diagram. If you do not have a copy, feel free to contact us by phone or email and we will locate a copy for you.
Cleaning can be done using different methods. First and foremost, make sure your fixture is turned off before cleaning. Also, do not rotate or spin the fixture around, this can cause the fixture to lose support. Start by placing a soft towel or blanket under the fixture to reduce the chance of damage if a piece of crystal becomes dislodged during cleaning.
- White Glove Cleaning Method
Using the white glove method, prepare a cleaning solution of one part isopropyl alcohol to three parts distilled water and place in a clean spray bottle. Do not use packaged cleaning fluids, as many of these contain ammonia, which can degrade the finish of the fixture and the quality of the crystal.
Wearing white cotton gloves, spray one glove with the solution and keep one glove dry. Gently polish each crystal with the glove with the cleaning solution on it, and immediately wipe it with the dry glove. Do not tug or pull on the crystal, as this may cause the connectors to chip, the crystal to crack and dislodge from the fixture. Do not spray the cleaning solution directly onto the fixture.
Gently remove crystal trim and hand wash the crystal in lukewarm water using a mild detergent. Rinse in clean water and dry with a soft clean cloth. Do not soak finished (colors other than clear) crystals such as the Swarovski Elements colors for extended periods as this could degrade the crystal’s finish over time.
Before doing the next step, make sure the light bulbs are off and have had time too cool. With the fixture turned off and the crystal removed, wipe the frame and the light bulbs with a soft cloth.
Gently reattach the cleaned crystal trims while wearing white gloves or holding with a soft clean cloth.