When installing new wiring in an historic house, it is highly preferred that the walls are not destroyed in the process especially when encountering plaster.
The first step is to consult with an experienced electrician who is familiar with working with 18th and 19th century homes. Usually they will try to use closets to hide electrical conduit or figure a way to fish wire behind a wall if at all possible.
Failing that, a common trick is to use wire molding to create a least expensive, least obtrusive way to get power where you need it. Using wire molding in various sizes, these can be installed just above baseboards or below cornices and can be painted the same color as your trim or walls. Most significant, if the wire molding needs to be removed in the future, it can be done without destroying the historic walls above. The Legrand Company manufactures a product called Wiremold that is installed rather easily. Just make sure it complies with all residential safety codes and make sure to mount wire molding tight to surface trim.
Only after exhausting all other options, should you be forced to install surface-mounted wiring. Its installation should be avoided as it destroys the historic feel of the home. Preferably, it can be installed behind furniture or other objects.
PS. If you are only electrifying an antique fixture, consider using cloth-covered wire. Sundial Wire has a wide selection of cloth-covered options that give a vintage feel to cords and yet is at current safety code levels.