Weihnachtsleuchter/Spinne ca. 1860-1870 in original polychrome paint. These fantastic Christmas chandeliers, or Spinne, (so-called "Spiders" for the arms coming out of the center turned post like a spider's legs) were created in 19th century Erzgebirge/Saxony to hang from the ceiling at Christmastime. They are folk art at their finest, as you can see from the wonderful carvings done in a riot of colors on mine above. My photo, unfortunately, doesn't do the Spinne justice, as I held it in one hand and photographed with the other.
If you ever have the opportunity, I can highly recommend going to the Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst (Saxon Folk Art Museum) in Dresden, Germany. Besides having superb collections covering dozens and dozens of areas (textiles, early clothing, springerle molds, etc.), as one enters a very long corridor on the first floor of the museum your eyes are drawn to the ceiling where early Christmas chandeliers hang the entire length. It really is breathtaking. They also have a large display of Erzgebirge toys and carvings on the second floor.
This closeup of my Spinne more clearly shows the wonderful turnings and colors of the center post with fantasy hand carved birds wearing gold crowns on the top tier. The center tier has simple 8-pointed gold stars shooting out, while the bottom tier has carved arms coming out with candleholders at the end alternating with carved wooden figures.
My winter project is to restore a Spider I have had, believe it or not, in a box for almost ten years now. It is elaborately carved and known as an Affenleuchter (monkey chandelier), named for the monkeys sitting on the arms of one of the tiers which are wearing hats and playing drums. It dates to the end of the 19th century.
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.