Antlered chandeliers have been in existence for centuries. Antler chandeliers were most often used in European castles. Hunting of the large stag deer was for the most part, reserved for nobility. These early antler chandeliers provided warm candle light to illuminate their dark cold stony interiors. Massive stag antlers were fashioned together to form a large ring, candle holders were adhered to the structure and hand forged metal chains were attached to suspend them to the high ceilings. Extra chain or rope was later added which allowed the chandelier to be raised or lowered to facilitate in the lighting and distinguishing of the candles.
Antler chandeliers have a unique charm all their own. Made from the antlers of the deer family, these natural strictures, when artistically arranged, creates a graceful, beauty that is admired by all ages. This form of lighting has grown in popularity and is a favorite choice of lighting. Arden Creek Designs has been asked to place its antler chandeliers in a wide variety of locations, from log homes, to rustic vacation homes, to lodges, hotels, restaurants, even minimalistic contemporary settings to name a few of the applications.
THE DEER ANTLER, A FACINATING ORGANISM
Arden Creek Designs' antler chandeliers are made from a variety of North American and European deer antlers. All male members of the North American deer family have bony outgrowths on the their skull's frontal bone. The exception to the males only rule, is the Caribou in this case, both the male and the female grow antlers or horns. In the spring or early summer, bony buds begin to appear on their head and continue to grow in length. These protruding structures are soft and tender, and contain a network of fine blood vessels which supply nourishment, enabling the antler to grow. The growing antlers have a velvety covering of fine hairs. The saying, "in the velvet" was derived from this occurrence. By mid-summer the antlers take on a blunt appearance and by late summer they develop branches called, tines. In late summer when the antlers have reached full size, the blood vessels which have been nourishing the horn, dries up and the velvet covering is shed. Once the velvet has pealed off a tall sharp antler results, which becomes a sexual ornament used as weapons against rivaling males during courtship. In the winter, after courtship, these antlers are usually shed, only to begin the process again in the spring. Each successive year the antlers usually become larger both in size and the number of points.
Arden Creek Designs antler chandeliers are constructed from these shed antlers. Antlers are collected off the ground, graded as to size and appearance and sold accordingly by the pound. Only the highest quality antlers are use to build Arden Creek antler chandeliers.
TYPES OF ANTLERS USED TO CONSTRUCT ANTLER CHANDELIERS
Arden Creek Designs mainly uses the antlers from deer native to North America. These include, the White- tailed Deer, the Mule Deer, Elk or Wapiti, Caribou and the Moose. Other deer antlers used in our antler chandeliers which are not native to North America are the Fallow deer and the Red Stag Deer.
The White-tailed deer is by far the most prolific deer in North America. It ranges throughout the United States, with the exception of some of the western states. The record antler spread is 33 1/2 inches. Arden Creek Designs uses these antlers to produce their smaller antler chandeliers. The antlers have a nice form and produce a beautiful antler chandelier.
The Mule deer ranges throughout western United States and Canada. Its antlers tend to be larger than the White-tail deer. The record spread is 47 1/2 inches. The antlers from the Mule deer are used to make our intermediate antler chandeliers. The long slender tines create a graceful, beautiful antler chandelier. Mule deer antlers are used to produce our single, double or triple tier chandeliers
ELK or WAPITI
The majority of our large antler chandeliers are made from elk horns. These majestic antlers create dramatic statements for the large spaces that require a chandelier of significant size, whether it be a single, double or triple tier light. The range of the elk has been reduced from what it once was. Today there are pockets of elk throughout the United States and Canada, however the majority of the herd is in the western sections of both countries. The record spread for an Elk antler is 74 inches.
The Caribou roams the tundra regions of Canada and Alaska. Caribou are the only deer were both sex develop antlers. These animals have large magnificent antlers, which spread to 60 inches. Arden Creek Designs usually does not make an antler chandelier entirely of their horns, instead they will be used in conjunction with other antlers such as elk.
The range of the moose is Alaska, Canada and the far northern regions of 48 states. However, each year the moose has been extending its range southward. The moose claims the title for having the largest antlers, the record spread is 77 3/8 inches. These magnificent antlers make beautiful, impressive antler chandeliers. The broad paddles of the horns creates a fullness unlike any other antler chandelier.
Another antler that Arden Creek Designs uses in its chandeliers, that is not native to North America is the antler from the Fallow deer.
The fallow deer is native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region. They have been introduced into sections of the United Stated, such as Texas, California, Kentucky, Maryland, Georgia and Alabama. The antler of the Fallow deer is very graceful, resembling to some extent the moose antler. The Fallow deer make wonderful antler chandeliers.
THE CARE AND MAINTANCE OF ANTLER CHANDELIERS
All the antlers used in Arden Creek chandeliers are of the highest quality. They are structurally strong, well proportioned and the chandelier is designed to last a life time. The natural finish of the antler is very durable, requiring little maintenance. Periodic dusting and an occasional wiping off with a damp cloth renews its rich coloration, It is not recommended to place an antler chandelier outside in the direct sun light. The sun's rays can damage the finish, producing a chalk like finish, if this should happen to your chandelier, it can be revitalize by lightly rubbing a thin cost of shoe polish wax over the horn, making sure not to put too much on.
Arden Creek Designs Antler chandeliers are designed to last a life time, giving its owner a wonderful addition to any decor. Because Arden Creek antler chandelier are made from natural materials and assembled in a traditional fashion, they remain timeless, never going out of style.
Burt, W.H. A Field Guide to the Mammals North America North of Mexico, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston. 1976. "Deer" The World Book Encyclopedia, Stanley P. Young. Field Enterprises Educational Corporation: Chicago. 1961. Whitaker, J. O., Ilman, R. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals. Alfred A. Knopf: New York. 1991.