AskDefine | Define girandole

Dictionary Definition

girandole n : an ornate candle holder; often with a mirror [syn: girandola]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From French girandole, from Italian girandola, from girare ‘to turn, gyrate’.

Pronunciation

/ˈdʒɪɹəndəʊl/

Noun

  1. An ornamental branched candle holder, sometimes with a mirror behind.
    • 1847: As I sat in my usual nook, and looked at him with the light of the girandoles on the mantelpiece beaming full over him—for he occupied an arm-chair drawn... — Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Italian

Noun

girandole
  1. Plural of girandola

Extensive Definition

Girandole (from the Italian girandola) is an ornamental branched candlestick or lighting device often composed of several lights. It came into use about the second half of the 17th century, and was commonly made and used in pairs.
It has always been, comparatively speaking, a luxurious appliance for lighting, and in the great 18th century period of French house decoration, the famous ciseleurs designed some exceedingly beautiful examples. A great variety of metals has been used for the purpose. Sometimes, as in the case of candlesticks, girandoles have been made in hard woods. Gilded bronze has been a very frequent medium, but for table use silver is still the favorite material.
Girondoles, or lighting devices, have also been attached to looking glasses and furniture. Some popular mirrors, especially the convex style, and some large dressing glasses of the 19th century were known as "girondoles" because of the lighting devices mounted to their sides.

References

girandole in Czech: Girandola
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