Czech Republic: Preciosa Lighting is part of the Preciosa Group, which is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of high-precision cut crystal components. The roots of the company, whose registered office is in Kamenický Šenov in the Czech Republic, go back to the year 1724. Over the centuries Preciosa has consolidated and expanded its knowledge of the characteristic properties of crystal –transparency, fragility and the ability to change its shape when in liquid form – into masterly expertise.
The highest standards of craftsmanship, unique technical know-how and the distinctiveness of its designs have today guaranteed Preciosa a place among the world’s leading producers of top-quality cut crystal. Preciosa Lighting’s classic chandelier lighting can be found all over the globe, in Versailles, St. Petersburg, London, Dubai, Macao and New York, in both public and private palaces and residences. Preciosa’s impressive product range also includes jewellery, gift items, crystal components for the jewellery and fashion industries and the legendary, beautifully cut crystal beads.
In early 2017, in the heart of Prague, a new chapter in Preciosa’s rich Bohemian Crystal history began. Whilst cherishing the traditions of the last three hundred years, and honouring the iconic designs of this history, at its new Flagship Store Preciosa presents the brilliance and craftsmanship of its chandeliers for the next generation to experience.
Bohemian Crystal draws on local natural wealth, together with the masterful craftsmanship and indomitable will of its people to embellish the world. The beginnings of the glassmaking tradition in Bohemia are closely tied to the production of pearls. But it was in 1724, that Josef Palme obtained permission to produce chandeliers, enabling Bohemian Crystal to finally blossom in its full glory and illuminate Europe with its mesmerizing brilliance.
Bohemian Crystal and chandeliers soon made their way to being one of the most sought-after possessions, along with famous pieces from England, France or Italy. Bohemian chandeliers went on to adorn the residences of many noble elites and sovereign families.
Just like today, the chandeliers were born from the hands of Bohemian glass makers. A true embellishment of the most fabled of royal courts, they were the most iconic masterpieces – unique jewels that now bear the names of their original owners – Empress Maria Theresa, Prince Eugene of Savoy or King Louis XIV.
The charm of Bohemian chandeliers, however, does not only dwell in their timeless characters. It also stands out in the uniqueness of every single piece of trimming, regardless of the era or architectonic style. Its present form, wedded elegantly with tradition, can be found in residences and palaces from Dubai to New York.
The most beautiful crystal chandeliers that decorate large historical palaces, museums, opera houses and hotels around the world come from a small, mountainous region in north Bohemia: Crystal Valley.
Thanks to the region’s natural wealth and especially due to local craftsmanship and talent, the glassmaking traditions of Kamenický Šenov, home to Preciosa Lighting’s main production facility, have remained unspoiled for centuries. The oldest glassworks site found in Crystal Valley dates back to 1250. From the 17th Century crystal clear glass, called Bohemian Crystal, started to be melted down and shaped. This glass became a local speciality and became so popular around the world, that the Czech lands became the most important glass exporter in the world by the mid-18th Century. At this time the first workshops specialising in the production of crystal lights started to appear in Crystal Valley. The oldest professional glassmaking school in Europe has operated in Kamenický Šenov since 1856 and this, together with the local tradition of fathers passing glassmaking skills down to their children, has had a major impact on the craft and technical skills of local master glassmakers. To this day, local people continue to protect the glass making secrets of their ancestors as part of the local tradition. Today Crystal Valley is still the most important region in the world for the production of crystal chandeliers.