The History of Schonbek
In Bohemia, classic source of the world’s finest crystal, a young man named Adolf Schonbek walked away from the family glassworks to start his own business. The year was 1870. Soon Adolf was manufacturing complete glass chandeliers.
It was the height of the last great era of romance and candlelight. People of means throughout Europe lived opulently in homes richly furnished and lighted by ornate crystal chandeliers. Not surprisingly, Adolf’s business flourished.
In London the Queen’s agent ordered Schonbek crystal for Buckingham Palace. In America Schonbek crystal found its way into the White House.
The Hapsburg emperor Francis Joseph I awarded the patent of nobility to a Schonbek ancestor, but the Schonbeks were destined to become citizens of a world beyond emperors.
Adolf Schonbek began a dynasty of light that extends to the present day. With each succeeding generation we Schonbeks have made the study of the crystal chandelier in all its forms our life’s work.
World wars and trade wars came and went, and Arnold Schonbek, Adolf’s grandson, lost his factories first to the Nazis, then to the Communists. After escaping from a tumultuous Europe, Arnold re-established his company in Montreal and eventually moved the headquarters to the United States.
The craft of chandelier design remains a living art at Schonbek today. We draw on our rich heritage to revitalize the great styles of the past, and we are constantly reinventing crystal, as well, to be perfectly at home in contemporary rooms.
As a result, Schonbek designs are probably the most-imitated chandeliers in the world.
In 2007 Schonbek was acquired by Swarovski. Swarovski is the world leader in the production of fine cut crystal, just as Schonbek is the leader worldwide in the design and manufacturing of crystal chandeliers. Together they bring a potent new mix of creativity to the world of home fashion.
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