Friday, June 29, 2007

Low to High: Capiz Shell Chandeliers

So I was clicking around on the amazing Emmerson Troop site the other day, drooling at all the gorgeousness that I will never, ever be able to afford.

Then I spotted the capiz shell chandelier above. "Oh," I thought, "that's just like the one from West Elm that we hung over the staircase." Then I looked at the price: $3,360. (Yes, you read that right: Three thousand three hundred and sixty dollars.)

Now, I'm sure that Emmerson Troop's chandelier is handmade by skilled artisans over the course of three years in an endangered rain forest in the South Pacific and that each delicate, iridescent shell is backed in solid gold or something. But $3,360? The West Elm version is $99.

Then I did a little Googling, and quickly found five other variations of this pretty light. Turns out that West Elm's isn't even the cheapest, and there are a few versions that cost a few hundred bucks apiece.

Lets take a look at them all side-by-side, shall we?

Top left to right: Gwen Carlton Hydromedusa #4 Pendant, $3,360, at Emmerson Troop; Tiered Capiz Chandelier, $645, from BeachDwelling; middle left to right: Ballard Designs' Capiz Shell Pendant, $349; Capiz Shell Chandelier, $318, at The Well Appointed House; Capiz Chandelier, $128, from SeaCrest Trading Company; bottom left to right: West Elm Capiz Circles Pendant Lamp, $99; Capiz Hanging Pendant, $70, at Cost Plus World Market

Granted, the Emmerson Troop-version has a designer name attached -- plus, it's triple-tiered, larger, and clearly has a lot more shells than the others. But is that worth the $3K price difference?

You decide.

24 comments:

girl meets glamour said...

Oly Studio has an affordable capiz pendant as well that worth checking out...I love that place :)

eric said...

i found a really gorgeous capiz hanging fixture on the street two weeks ago. it's about seven feet long and tiered and has a fiberglass semi-circle at the top holding all the shells. it's all tied up but i am so determined to make it work.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Oh I just love them.....And I bought an amazing capiz shell curtain. It's dreamy.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who you are but you were a wonderful help! You did just what I needed...a side-by-side comarison of Capiz Shell Chandeliers! My Google search took me straight to you. I am glad you are "Finding More Ways to Waste Time" because it saved me a lot of it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about good ol' Target!! They have a few versions of these chandeliers as well.

Anonymous said...

aaaahhhh you are my saviour... My designer only showed me the Verpan mother of pearl fixtures... try $4000-$11000... I have been searching for you ever since. Thank you.

MissMia said...

I found one on craigslist for super cheap! 3-tier, 6 or 7 feet long and I only paid $20.

Lauren said...

i would just like to thank you for all the amazing links! i am decorating my first apartment was in desperate need of some inspiration. i certainly got it. happy hunting and thanks again :)
-lauren

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great information! I love these chandeliers and you put great information and sources all in one place. As for paying over 3 grand? Sheesh, well I have to admit it looks better than the others but 10 times better? Not so much.

MAR said...

Thanks for saving me time so that I can obsess about somehing else. Great info. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm in love with this moderately priced chandelier from West Elm...
http://www.westelm.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?partNumber=WE-PRODw253&storeId=17001&langId=-1&catalogId=17002&viewSetCode=E&parentId=WE-SH1WALALT&retainNav=true&cmsrc=WE-SH1WALALT

Anonymous said...

I must say the one from Emmerson does have the best proportion and silhouette. Gorgeous. Until the day we can afford, thank goodness for West Elm.

Shea said...

I love these and plan on getting one for my bedroom! I really don't have a place to put a chandelier, so the pendants are perfect. I also found this one that is only $40.

w(l) divided by pie = fun ;) said...

Thank you for doing all the "leg work" for me. I agree I don't understand why anyone would pay 3k for a lamp whether you can afford it or not...seems a waste to me.

Anonymous said...

I was leaning toward purchasing the $99 Capiz Pendant Light from West Elm when I came upon your web site. Your comments sealed my decision. Thanks for all your hard work. However, when I called West Elm, they said they no longer carry this fixture. Do you have any idea who the manufacturer is and whether I can obtain this light from another source?

Betty

sandiegostreetheart said...

I have one of those hanging in my house, mine must be at least 25 years old, I wonder if its worth as much as the $3,000, are those antique, im pretty sure mine is...

Anonymous said...

I inherited on of these from my grandmother. It has three tiers and was made in mid to late 1960's. These are absolutely gorgeous. If you would like to see it, go to www.periwinklesage.com

Anonymous said...

Three years later...

But since I found this useful maybe others are also, three years later... and echoing everyone else -- Thank you for putting this together!

I got my hands on a Global Bazaar one from Target that is a lot like the Ballard Designs one but shorter (say, lop off the bottom three rows). It's quite large, 20 inches across, and full like that one, unlike the West Elm and Cost Plus versions. The chains at the top meet with a plain ring, not the triangular bit -- but the retail was only $129! It is on the same sort of steamer-rack-looking frame as most of them. Target is currently selling one online that looks just like the Ballard Designs one, at about the same price (would YOU pay $369 for a lamp from Target??).

So, I would say that the retail of $129 for the one I got seems a bargain, but then the shells are very thin, and a number have flaws like dark specks and what look like thin cracks or peely edges. Hanging up, it's not too noticable, but it's definitely more casual than, say, the Neiman Marcus one below. So maybe that is the difference between the whopping expensive ones and the affordable ones. It looks like West Elm shells have blemishes. Of course, the others can't be judged purely from the photos; the Target box looks like the shells would be higher quality!


A couple of others to peek at:

Neiman Marcus. The glass beads between the shells is nice, and the shells look opaque and thicker.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod96260005&ecid=NMCIGoogleBaseFeed&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=H4LKL

Pottery Barn -- colorful versions! Fun, and only $129
http://www.pbteen.com/products/capiz-chandelier/

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed if the heat from the light bulbs messes with the fishing line filaments most are strung with, or the shells themselves?

Anonymous said...

In researching Capriz Chandeliers for a client, I came across your site. Interesting! I agree with the comment regarding the proportions of the Emmerson Troop piece. I found this quote and thought I'd share, regarding the difference in price points:

"...Unfortunately there are many imitation pieces on the market that can look quite similar but in fact be made entirely from plastic. Others may be part capiz shell and part plastic, making it difficult for many people to know when they are buying the genuine article.

The biggest indicator that you may not have a genuine capiz chandelier is the price. Although the shells are harvested in the Philippines where production costs are low, the work involved in creating such an item, as well as its uniqueness, results in a higher end price. Also, chandeliers constructed of plastic are often painted and do not reproduce the unique radiant qualities that these pearl-like shells possess."

Anonymous said...

Here's another site to go to for affordable capiz chandeliers and wind chimes.
http://thenaturecompany.mybisi.com/product/capiz-shell-round-natural-capiz-shells-100-pc
Hope this helps those of you who are looking for variety.
Toodles ;)

Anonymous said...

I found cheap Capiz chandeliers and other hanging decorations in a tourist shop near my aunts house in Florida. Maybe not the real thing but they are under $100 and look very nice. Next time your on a beach vacation check for cheap Capiz chandeliers there.

Light Lover said...

As someone who owns a custom designed and hand made capiz shell chandelier by Gwen Carlton, I can promise all of you that there's really no comparison between one of her lights and those cheap things from West Elm.

For the record, Carlton's lights are not made in some rain forest, they are each knotted painstakingly by hand by the designer herself who lives in NYC. No doubt a large fixture like shown here took Carlton a couple of weeks to manufacture.

Of course, not everyone has the budget for a custom made capiz light fixture so less expensive options are great but still, there's no comparison for quality between Carlton's fixtures and anything from West Elm or Target (which probably are made by underpaid workers in a third world country).

Anonymous said...

I'm desperately searching for the "long hanging capiz lamp" from West Elm in the link below.

http://www.westelm.com/products/long-hanging-capiz-pendant-lamp-w253/

Unfortunately now that I'm prepared to buy it for my new home, West Elm's site says it's "no longer available." This blog is the first place I've found unique referrals to capiz lamps. However, what I'm REALLY hoping to find is a long organically shaped capiz lamp that's similar to West Elm's 48" long version - for approx $200-$300. If anyone wants to sell theirs or if you know where I can find it, please let me know so I can buy it from you or rush to purchase it elsewhere! My email is sgreene68@yahoo.com. Thanks!!!

 

©Copyright 2007-2014 More Ways To Waste Time and Leah Hennen. All Rights Reserved.