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Meaning candle holder, the chandelier originates from the French word “chandelle,” meaning a light fixture attached to the ceiling. Some of the earliest chandeliers were formed of two beams of wood in a cross shape, with a spike or pricket at each end to hold a candle. During the 16th century candles were made of tallow, or animal fat. Today, candles are composed of wax. The function of a chandelier was to provide light inside a structure. At this time the structures were churches and abbeys, as well as palaces and castles in Europe. Not only were the chandeliers inside large structures such as churches, but they also provided light in the homes of the wealthy and prosperous classes. These chandeliers were ornate and very large. For a modest home, they had small wooden chandeliers.