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.
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Recent News: Lamps
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Margarita anyone? Old Town Tomball eyes end to liquor banHouston Chronicle, October 23rd
Visitors also enjoy the many other quaint clapboard buildings, illuminated by vintage lamp posts, that have been transformed into mom-and-pop businesses, ranging from Granny's Corner, an antique and crafts store, to Nonnie's Soda Fountain, a 1950s...Read more
Drunk who trashed B&B found sleeping in his pantsEdinburgh Evening News, October 16th
An antique lamp was lying on the floor, a ceramic toast rack was smashed and there were scuffed footprints on the walls. Officers found that Anderson had also propped a chair against a fire door to stop anyone getting in. He failed to offer any...Read more
Janet Hughes on marriage: Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosamund Pike ...Western Daily Press, October 11th
So it won't come as any surprise to you to learn that my last day out was to a sprawling car boot sale where we had bacon butties for breakfast before returning to our local pub for a liquid lunch clutching a vintage lamp, an embroidered tablecloth, an...Read more
House of light: couple finds serenity in homeVictoria Advocate, October 10th
An antique lamp, cast iron skillet, butter mold, butter churn decorate the tops of the kitchen cabinets - items Fox inherited from her great-grandmothers, both were from Southern Illinois. A movable, marble kitchen island allows the couple to...Read more
Appraisal clinic returns to LebanonLebanon Express, October 1st
Appraiser Gary Germer examines an antique lamp at the Samaritan Event Center on Sept. 27. Germer valued the piece at $1,800. 2014-10-01T10:30:00Z Appraisal clinic returns to LebanonMatt DeBow, Lebanon Express Lebanon Express. October 01, 2014 ...Read more
Flood project behind schedule, over budgetScottsbluff Star Herald, September 29th
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — A Grand Island flood control project that was scheduled for completion next year is four years behind schedule and $13 million over budget. The Grand Island Independent reports the Grand Island City Council and Hall County ...Read more
Watertown man accused of damaging household itemsWatertownDailyTimes.com, September 26th
Police said that during the incident, Mr. Goolden split a guitar in half and smashed an antique lamp, wall mirror and porcelain statue. Later, he allegedly took a can of wood stain and poured it over cloth chairs in the home's dining room, then threw...Read more
EWC to host Longmire authorScottsbluff Star Herald, September 25th
TORRINGTON, Wyo. — The Eastern Wyoming College Library will host Wyoming author Craig Johnson on Oct. 3, at 12:30 p.m. in the EWC Library. This is part of the One Book Wyoming program that is sponsored by the Wyoming State Library at ...Read more