italian tole chandelier

An elegant antique 12-arm chandelier is more subtle in its color palette but is a beautifully detailed example of the sophisticated style of Italian tole. It would bring a wow factor to any room.

 

From an elegant twelve-arm antique chandelier to whimsical mid-century bookends, Italian painted metal creations continue to charm with their decidedly floral mindset and cheerful mission to bring the outside indoors and enliven every month of the year.

What is Italian tole?

Sheila Benson of Foxglove Antiques & Galleries explains, “Italian tole refers to the technique of adding decorative paint to metal and is usually made in or near Florence. The pieces add charm and whimsy to any room and are most popular in a kitchen or keeping room, sun room, or powder room.”

Where can you find Italian tole?

Pieces similar to the vintage tulip chandelier in the slideshow below can be found at Chairish. The twelve-arm chandelier came from Foxglove Antiques & Galleries. The candleholder is from The Gables Antiques. Also, check out Patrick Mele and Susan Hable Smith. Finally, Etsy and Ebay regularly have tole pieces listed for sale.

italian tole painting
This small vintage, Italian tole, yellow tulip chandelier would look at right at home in a girl’s bedroom.
italian tole chandelier
An elegant antique 12-arm chandelier is more subtle in its color palette but is a beautifully detailed example of the sophisticated style of Italian tole. It would bring a wow factor to any room.
italian tole chandelier
This chandelier is more subtle in its color palette than much Italian tole, but is a beautifully detailed example of technique's sophisticated style.
italian tole sconce
Charming butterflies in vibrant shades dance on a two-armed candleholder and would be a charming accent in a garden room or enclosed porch.
Italian tole painting
The liveliness of Italian tole is captured in these vintage candleholders with daisies, roses, and tulips, and leaves in varying shades of green.
italian tole candleholder
An antique candleholder in more muted tones shows off swirls of flowers and leaves and could be easily converted into a lamp.
italian tole bedside sconces
"Tole in general is so ladylike and is a throwback to an earlier 'Lee Radziwill' time. It can look really fresh in a more modern setting. My client, illustrator Hayley Sarno, is very feminine and when I saw these tole sconces, I knew they were perfect for her, and we would find a place to use them. We both loved the bright green color with the pretty porcelain flowers. The mix of all the elements in her bedroom keep the scones from feeling grandmothery." Patrick Mele, interior designer New York City
italian tole bookends
Tole pieces often include cheerful insects in the design as seen in these mid-century bookends that are perfect for holding a collection of garden books.
italian tole bookends
Tole pieces often include cheerful insects in the design as seen in these mid-century bookends that are perfect for holding a collection of garden books.
italian tole chandelier
"This chandelier is a favorite of mine and was one of the first things that I bought when we renovated our house in Athens almost 9 years ago. I found it in Round Top, Texas at a tent run by two very talented men. I didn’t really know where it was going to wind up in the house, but I loved it so much that I had to have it! It is a focal piece in our home, and I often will drape seeded eucalyptus in it for the holidays and other flora for various parties." Susan Hable Smith, artist and designer for the textile firm Hable Construction

Photography by Jeff Von Hoene

Photo Styling by Kim Phillips

Produced by Alice Welsh Doyle and Ellen S. Padgett

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