Glass chandeliers like the present lot developed in the early 18th century, initially from the short candle arms made for pier mirrors. As early as 1705-6 pairs of candle sconces were supplied to Boughton, Northamptonshire by one Pelletier, and these may be the glass sconces that survive fixed to the wainscot. In 1718 it was recorded that Viscount Irwin had employed an agent who arranged a shipment of '12 pair of Glass Sconces' for Temple Newsam, Yorkshire while in 1720 John Pardoe supplied two pairs of sconces, fitted to gilt gesso pier mirrors, to John Mellor for Erddig, Denbighshire. Glass candelabra were also made such as the example in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and as the skill and ingenuity of the glass worker increased so larger branches could be manufactured. Initially such branches were plain or 'round', such as in the case of the chandelier formerly at Thornham Hall, Lincolnshire and now at Winterthur Museum, Delaware. The stem pieces could be cut or moulded like the present example with reticulated decoration. Similar chandeliers were made between 1732-36 for York Assembly Rooms and three others of similar form and decoration are at Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire (a fourth from the set is at the City Art Museum , St. Louis, Missouri). Tradition relates that these were supplied for the Lincoln Assembly Rooms (see Martin Mortimer, The English Glass Chandelier, Woodbridge, 2000, pp. 55-69, and pp. 10-11, pl. 1 and 2.)
Surviving examples of such chandeliers are rare. Examples sold at auction include one sold anonymously, Sotheby's, London, 6 July 2011, lot 70 (£139,250).