Antique and vintage lamps span a broad spectrum, including well known-styles like Victorian and slag glass and leading names like Tiffany, Handel, and Aladdin. Values vary greatly and reproductions abound, so do your homework.

The earliest type of lamp, the oil lamp, was a simplistic vessel with an absorbent wick. These were mass-produced starting in the 19th century. Manufacturers typically made the metal base and burner and bought the glass from another manufacturer.

Between the 1840s and the early 1900s, during the Victorian era, oil lamps and candelabras coexisted with early electric lamps. In 1908, Aladdin Industries Inc. created the Aladdin lamp, an oil lamp so bright that no one was able to find another oil lamp that compared, despite Aladdin's offer of a thousand dollars if they could.

The biggest development in lamps toward the end of the 1800s was the growing popularity of ornate glass lampshades, often with floral imagery. Lamps started to become a decorative, rather than just functional, item. Slag glass (pressed glass with milky stripes), for example, became popular in England and America, and many lamp companies used it to create beautiful lamp shades.

Decorative table and floor lamps reached the height of their popularity in the U.S. in the first two decades of the 20th century, spurred by the success of Tiffany and its Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau competitors, like Handel.

Tiffany and others made bronze and gilt-bronze lamp bases, often simulating plants or tree trunks, and floral or other naturalistic art glass shades with colorful iridescent glass pieces leaded together. Thousands of Tiffany lamps were made, and they're highly collectible today. By the 1920s, many lamp designers had started to shift to Art Deco styles, characterized by angular lines and squared glass or paper shades. Also common were deco figural lamps with stems made to look like people.

Post WWII, mid-century lamps tended to be simpler (Eames), sillier (TV lamps) or groovier (lava lamps). Eames lamps were often made of metal and featured long, narrow, and sometimes wavy stems. Lamps with multiple bulbs and lamps with swiveling necks were also common. So-called TV lamps were also popular in the 1950s. Typically made of ceramic or plaster, these were backlit decorative sculptures created in the shape of animals, people, and plants...

Lava lamps, an icon of the 1960s and 70s, combined heated wax, chemicals, and dyed water to create lava-like imagery. Lava lamps were used more for decoration than for lighting.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Lampworks

The Lampworks

Lamp collector and dealer Dan Edminster has put together an incredible reference site on antique lamps and related … [read review or visit site]

Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company

Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company

Mark Stevens has created an impressive living memorial to Texans Inc., a 20th century Texas manufacturer of ceramic… [read review or visit site]

The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin

The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin

Bruce Bleier's tribute to the Emeralite and Bellova lampshades made from Czech glass and popularized and distribute… [read review or visit site]

Fairy Lamp Club

Fairy Lamp Club

This incredible site is a stunning showcase for Victorian and contemporary fairy lamps, a style of lamp with a glas… [read review or visit site]

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Terry Marsh’s beautiful showcase of gas-pressure lanterns, lamps, stoves, irons, and heaters from the 1920s o… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Industrial Light / Lamp - Explosion Proof Glass Dome Pendant - SmallVintage Coleman 1949 Cpr Scout #247 Lantern Lamp W/caboose BarVintage Industrial Wall Light -antique Bronze 90deg Lamp- Cage & Glass Dome E27Antique Wwi Trench Art Bullet Shell & Helmet Industrial Folk Art Floor Lamp, NrLeaded Slag Glass Arts Crafts Victorian Antique Bradley Hubbard Handel Era LampAntique Chicago Mosaic Leaded Slag Stained Glass Handel Tiffany Era Lamp - NrRare Wild & Wessel Double Student Oil LampUnique Handel Arts Crafts Leaded Slag Glass Bradley Hubbard Era Antique Lamp Nr Michael Bang Holmegaard Pendant Ceiling Lamp Danish Eames Panton 70s 60s Era Important Larg Antique Judaic Sterling Silver Lion Figural Menorah Hanukkah LampStunning Antique Old Reverse Painted Handel Tiffany Era Lamp By Moe BridgesFase Madrid First Model Vintage Desk Light Lamp Mid Century Bauhaus Eames 50sRare! Antique Pharmacy Glass Show Globe + Wood Slag Glass Counter Display LampSigned Bradley & Hubbard Table Lamp Brass Slag Glass Iridescent Stained Glass A Good Victorian Microscope Oil Lamp By Swift & Son, London. BrassDoria Glass And Copper Pendant Ceiling Lamp Danish Modern Eames 70s 60s EraFase Madrid Presidente Vintage Desk Light Lamp Mid Century Bauhaus JacobsenArt Deco Airplane Lamp Desk ModelVintage Industrial Lamp - Brass & Glass Circular Wall Light - Target CageBradley Hubbard Arts Crafts Leaded Slag Glass Handel Era Antique Lamp NrChic Brass Large Vintage Antique French Style Crystal Chandelier Light Old LampPair Of Mid Century Glass & Brass Bedside Lamps Art Deco Vintage 40s 50s 60s Fase Madrid Boomerang 64 Vintage Desk Industrial Light Lamp Mid Century BauhausBronze Vintage Animated Hula Girl Lamp W/ Original Lamp Shade & SkirtFase Madrid 520c Bordeaux Vintage Desk Light Lamp Mid Century Bauhaus Kaiser EraLarge Low Ceiling Antique French Style Lead Crystal Old Chandelier Lighting LampVintage Industrial Lamp / Ceiling Light - Brass, Aluminium And Glass PendantOriginal Rare Austrian Art Deco 'bathing Nude' Lamp, By Lorenzl, C1930Original Carlton Wear Toucan Lamp Base For Arthur GuinnessVintage Europe Swarovski Crystal Huge Basket Chandelier Lamp Light Lustre 1940sFenton Dragon's Tongue Antique Carnival Glass Lamp Shade~rare Marigold/moonstoneFolding Miners' Candlestick Gold Silver Mining Carbide Lamp Sticking Tommy Vgc1930s Art Deco Brass Desk / Table Lamp Vintage Mid Century Bauhaus 30s 40s RareAntique 1909 Brass Solar Brand Railroad Switch Lamp / Lantern ~ Vintage Rr LightHandel Piano Lamp. Mission, Arts And Crafts,lamp Fase Madrid Presidente Gray Vintage Desk Light Lamp Mid Century Bauhaus KaiserVintage Carl Thore Chandelier Light Lamp Mid Century Fog Morup Poulsen Era 60sChicago Mosaic Antique Table Lamp,handel,tiffany Studios,duffner,pairpoint .1909Fine Antique Sterling & Silver Plate Lion Figural Judaica Menorah Hanukkah LampMasssive Antique Old Leaded Slag Stained Glass Handel Tiffany Era Lamp By WhaleyVintage Industrial Light / Lamp - Explosion Proof Ceiling Pendant Shade Usa E27Original Art Deco Figural Lamp, 1930s Egyptian Slave Girl, Signed SalvadoroThe Best Art Nouveau Charles Parker Multicolored Bent Panel Slag Glass Lamp3 Vfine Antique Persian Indian Carved Brass & Colored Glass Hanging Lamps LightsVeritas Falk, Stadelmann Victorian Duplex Kerosene Oil Lamp, Burner, ChimneyVintage Bests Gauzeless Colliery Pit Miners Lamp With Iron HoodVictorian Oil Sandwich Boston Whale White Cut To Clear Lamp,c.1860,s NrOutstanding Victorian Eapg Adams & Co. Vaseline Oil Lamp "thousand Eye" PatternAntique 1890's 2 Jewel Kerosene Bicycle/motorcycle Lamp/lightAntique Gothic Revival Victorian Oil Lamp Base & Font Hinks Quality Pugin C1870Antique Hinks's & Son No.2 Duplex, Rise And Fall Oil Lamp Burner & 4" Gallery.Glo-ball T1 Table Lamp Flos Design Within Reach Modern Lighting DwrAmerican Victorian C1880 Pink Opaline Glass Double Wick Oil Lamp W/ Glass ShadeRare C. 1880 Uranium "aquarius" Oil Lamp Adams Glass Co Usa Kerosene VictorianVintage Hand-carved Chinese Jade Stone & Brass Lamp Finial, No Reserve!Vintage L.a. Goodman Birch Trees Roto Action Scenic Motion Lamp Light In BoxVictorian Antique Cookbook Interior Design Decor Furniture Lamps Home Arts StyleC1915 2 Tone Miller 12 Panel Slag Glass Lamp Caramel & Cranberry Floral Frewtwok Antique Green Slag Glass Filligree Lamp Handel,miller, Bradley Hubbard Era Lamp18th C Antique Wrought Iron Colonial American Betty Lamp Lighting Spike Nr Aafa

Recent News: Lamps

Source: Google News

Feather-brained hawk makes himself at home in Royal Oak
The Detroit News, January 21st

Feather-brained hawk makes himself at home in Royal Oak. Neal Rubin, The Detroit News 11:51 p.m. EST January 21, 2015. rubin.jpg. A Royal Oak family's uninvited visitor perches atop an antique lamp. (Photo: Ken Zawislak). 349 CONNECT 12 TWEET 3 ...Read more

Birmingham's 5 best real ale pubs revealed
Birmingham Mail, January 21st

warm, there are mannequins, chimney stacks, rows of books, a wall of street art, specially designed Spotted Dog ashtrays handmade by service users of a local mental health organisation, and antique lamp standards salvaged from the Actress and Bishop...Read more

Protected turn arrow coming to busy Estero corner
The News-Press, January 20th

Antique lamp posts will be positioned along the stretch of road. The plans are in design, and the lights won't be completed until the spring of 2016, Burch said. “It's the largest LED project we have ever done (in Lee County),” Burch said. • The state...Read more

Sharp item: Old electric globe lamp has ties to Case Cutlery dynasty
Bradford Era, January 14th

In commenting on the antique lamp, Greg Carter said it was discovered in a private Victorian home in Arcade. They men were amazed when they saw what had been stored in a box in the attic. There under the straw was a glass lamp with a hand-painted logo ...Read more

Keys to 'Striking Gold' at a Used Equipment Auction
Green Industry Pros, January 8th

As an example, at an average “side-of-the-road” auction, you can expect to see an antique lamp going for $17.50. However, it wouldn't be out of the question to see a used 2007 Kubota Compact Excavator go for approximately $40,000 at a used equipment ...Read more

Find the complete product information from our February issue. (T) = Trade only.
House Beautiful (blog), January 7th

Rug, Lino—Ben Soleimani for Restoration Hardware; Mirror, Laurel; sculpture, Kya—Arteriors; Chair, Eclipse—96 Forest; Blue and white jar, Ginger—Tenango; Curtains, Emery Linen/Cotton—Pottery ...Read more

What to do and not to do at a bed and breakfast
Bureau County Republican, January 5th

If they ask you not to touch the antique lamp in the parlor, please don't touch it. Most of the time these rules are there to not only protect you, but also to insure that your stay is as comfortable and uneventful as possible. I know it can be...Read more

La. Traveler - antique lamp collector
KPLC-TV, November 5th

Local musicians now have a new option to get their music to the public. The City of Lake Charles is now letting musicians and entertainers set up on street corners and perform for tips.More >>. Local musicians now have a new option to get their music...Read more