Conservation and geochemical analysis of a rock crystal chandelier from the Museum for Applied Arts, Vienna

Total view of the Metellino-Chandelier
Total view of the Metellino-Chandelier

The so-called Metellino-Chandelier from the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna is currently being studied and restored in the course of a Diploma degree (Regina Friedl) at the Institute for Conservation and Restoration, at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna. The chandelier was produced prior to 1724 by the famous stone cutter Giovanni Battista Metellino and his workshop in Milan. The framework is of polished steel, and the pendants are made out of clear rock crystal. The valuable material and its high-quality workmanship indicate that the chandelier originally was an Imperial possession, and decorated the premises in the Vienna Hofburg or in Schloss Schönbrunn. In the 19th century, the chandelier was restored by the Viennese glass manufacturer J. & L. Lobmeyr and provided with glass pendants, which replaced the missing rock crystal pendants.


The focal point of the material analysis of the study lies in the differentiation of the original rock crystal pendants from the secondary glass pendants, using non-destructive methods. In cooperation with the Institute for Art and Technology/Archaeometry of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, selected pendants will initially be investigated with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis with a scanning electron microscope (REM/EDS). In order, however, to carry out the identification of all 138 pendants as efficiently as possible, the additional geochemical characterisation of the chandelier will be carried out by means of a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer at the OeAI. Pendants made out of potash-calcium-glass (SiO2: 63–80 % weight, K2O: 13–16 % weight, CaO: 6–7 % weight) and rock crystal (SiO2: 89–95 % weight) can be clearly differentiated from each other. In addition, a pendant produced from Calcium-Natron-Glass has been identified. Based on these measurement results, it has been possible to undertake a mapping of the pendant elements according to their composition: a total of 102 pendants were created out of rock crystal, whereas 36 pendants represent replacements made out of glass.


Dr. Martina Griesser and Dr. Katharina Uhlir are sincerely thanked for providing the glass standards for the investigation.




Lisa Peloschek

Eva Putzgruber



Cooperative Partners


Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst/Gegenwartskunst

Sen. Art. Mag. art. Manfred Trummer


Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Institut für Konservierung und Restaurierung

o. Univ.-Prof. Mag. art. Dr. phil. Gabriela Krist

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. rer. nat. Tatjana Bayerova

Univ.-Ass. Mag. art. Eva Putzgruber


Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Institut für Kunst und Technologie/Archäometrie

ao. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Bernhard Pichler

AProf. Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Erlach

Dr. phil. Roman Sauer