Chandelier Restored to Lyons Hall
in the Zubov Wing of the Catherine Palace

Source & Copyright: Вести.Ru. Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 32 seconds

||| Back to the Royal Russia News Archive |||
||| Royal Russia Bulletin - Our Official Blog. Updated Daily With News Clips, Videos & Photographs |||
||| Royal Russia Video & Film Archive ||| Romanov & Imperial Russia Links |||
||| Our Bookshop: Books on the Romanovs & Imperial Russia ||| Gilbert's Books - Publisher of Books on the Romanovs |||
||| What's New @ Royal Russia - Updated Monthly |||
||| Return to Royal Russia - Directory ||| Return to Royal Russia - Main Page |||

The Lyons Hall in the Zubov Wing of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo
Watercolour by Luigi Premazzi (1859)

A rare and beautiful bronze chandelier has been restored in the Lyons Hall - the former living room of the Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Emperor Alexander II - in the Zubov Wing of the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. The restoration, carried out by 10 artists has restored the chandelier's original lustre.

The chandelier created by Manegetti was saved during the Siege of Leningrad when it was moved to the basement of St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The decision to evacuate the work took place on the second day of the war in 1941 by museum employees who had not been called to the front.

"It is well preserved, but many details have been bent and broken, such as the candlesticks," said Anatoliy Novoselov, restorer. "This suggests that it was quickly packed up by the museum employees who, in haste did not take such matters into account at the time."

Ten specialists, including casters, gilders and jewellers carried out the restoration of the chandelier in a little over six months. They were successful in restoring not only the framework, but also the beautiful detail in lapis lazuli - a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color and a favourite of the Empress Maria Alexandrovna.

Restorers also managed to preserve the original elements of design, including the original fasteners, bronze garlands kept in place by brass screws, and under each piece you find a unique lock.

Prior to the installation of the giant chandelier, a special reinforced hoist was installed in the ceiling. Up until the end of the last century such a machine would lower the chandelier so that the servants could replace burnt out candles, there are exactly 84. After the arrival of electricity, the chandelier was switched over to light bulbs. During the last restoration, as well as under Nicholas II, wires were done in braided gold.

Now that the chandelier has been restored to its original place of honour, the main task of restoring the original interiors will take place. Fortunately, many of the original pieces of furniture that once decorated the Lyons Hall have survived.

Watercolours of the room have been preserved and will assist specialists in restoring the room to its original. The restoration of the Lyons Hall will be a costly one to say the least with silk covered walls and the use of lapis lazuli. The palace has retained 25 pieces of original furniture from the room, some inlaid with rare stones. But visitors to the hall will only be able to appreciate the real beauty of this room once the parquet floor with a unique pearlescent hue is restored. Museum official estimate that the restoration will take several years and require millions of rubles before it is finished.

Source & Copyright: Вести.Ru
9 December, 2011