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Many people remember the sketch from the classic TV comedy series, Only Fools and Horses, where Dell and Rodney attempt to remove a chandelier for cleaning with disastrous consequences.

So, how do owners of chandeliers guard against this happening to them when they want to move their prized possession to a new property? Not everyone has the Bohemian crystal chandelier a gift from Queen Victoria weighing 4.5 tons with 750 lamps and located in the Dolmabahce Palace Istanbul, but since the 18th century and the introduction of lead crystal there has been an increasing level of splendour attached to these centre pieces of the home.

Philip Pertoldi, group managing director of Abels Moving Services, which holds a Royal Warrant to H M the Queen for removal and storage services, can offer a few tips to ensure you do not become the victim of cowboy operators: “It is essential when moving any valuable and delicate items such as chandeliers to check the removals company’s credentials. Membership of professional organisations is an appropriate initial guide. Look to see if they’re a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR) and have British Standards Institute accredited quality assurance, ISO9001, which is a sign that a firm operates quality control systems. Then look at their website and stated credentials to assess if the company can cope with the more challenging aspects of moving and storage. Last but not least, remember to make sure that the chandelier is properly insured.”

This is what you should expect your remover to do when moving a chandelier:

  • Larger chandeliers usually need to be dismantled. Chains, beads and droplets should be individually wrapped in acid free tissue and their position marked on the outer packaging. This is to make sure that the chandelier can be correctly assembled on reaching its destination. Pieces of the chandelier frame should then be wrapped in tissue. All the components are finally packed into purpose designed cases surrounded and protected by polystyrene balls/chippings.
  • Smaller chandeliers can be hung whole in cases and simply surrounded by polystyrene balls/chippings for protection during transit. There is an art to the removal from the polystyrene of small or large units, but that is a “trade secret”.
  • There are stringent regulations concerning the electrical fittings that can not be ignored and need professional involvement. Coupled with the fitment required for the safe hanging and this may require new safety cables, bolts, steel plates or beams, for the weight load concerned. Safety is paramount for both the chandelier and the operatives which mean it is not a job for the uninitiated.
  • The remover should be able to offer a cleaning or restoring service, as it is advisable to organise this while the chandelier is down and dismantled for moving.
  • If it is necessary for the chandelier to be stored, check whether the removal firm provides appropriate modern and secure storage facilities rather than just nice library shots that may mislead the unwary.
  • Make sure you have the chandelier valued and itemised in the insurance itinerary of valuable items and its value does not exceed the amount of cover allowed for by the removers insurance for such items or the vehicle load, if in doubt get it in writing.

Abels Moving Services, headquartered in Brandon in Suffolk, has additional operational facilities at Huntingdon and Ely in Cambridgeshire, North London and Daventry, Northamptonshire. The company provides national, international and commercial removal services including specialist relocation and packing services. In addition it provides the home delivery of new furniture for retailers and manufacturers.


Issued on behalf of Abels Moving Services by Chelgate Limited.


  • The above image is available as JPEG attachments. Please contact the press office below.
  • Abels Moving Services has held a Royal Warrant to HM the Queen for removals and storage services for 20 years: it was awarded in 1989.
  • In 1993, Abels was one of the first movers to achieve quality assurance accreditation under ISO 9001. Since updated to BS EN ISO 9001: 2000.
  • In 1995, Abels became the first firm in the industry to achieve Investor in People accreditation, and then the first to have it successively renewed three times subsequently.
  • The Abels website is
  • Abels is currently the only company in East Anglia to have gained the high international standard FIDI FAIM quality accreditation for International Moving ( FAIM stands for FIDI Accredited International Mover and is operated by FIDI the Global Network of International Moving Companies.