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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company
The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin
Fairy Lamp Club
Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves
Clubs & Associations
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Lamps
Source: Google News
How to Climb Your Way out of MediocrityHuffington Post, May 21st
The Formosa Café's dim lighting made everything seem much more profound than the mundane reality of a Tuesday night. Beneath the glow of a vintage lamp, I picked at the Brussels sprouts on the plate in front of me. Only the angelic yet artery-clogging ...Read more
Police roundup: SUV, toilet paper, detergent reported stolenTopeka Capital Journal, May 21st
A 30-year-old Topeka woman told police someone stole an antique lamp valued at $250 and two extension cords worth $50 from the 2200 block of S.E. Davies. The theft occurred between 1 an 1:10 a.m. Monday, May 18, according to police reports. -- Several ...Read more
Armrests Are For Vulgarians, And Other Things I Learned In Etiquette ClassGothamist, May 19th
When I was in the fifth grade, my parents bought me A Smart Girl's Guide To Manners, a "comprehensive manners guide" for budding tweens published by the company that made American Girl dolls. I decided upon receipt that this book would be my Etiquette ...Read more
Accepting mercy means taking the blamePort Huron Times Herald, May 15th
Her antique lamp didn't stand a chance. When she got home, though, rather than yelling at my brother, it was me who took the brunt of her anger. He was just a kid, but I “should have known better.” Incensed, I argued my case, but she wasn't buying it...Read more
Hierarchy of NeedsPacific Northwest Inlander, May 13th
Renee Shelton knows what it's like to be cold, lonely and out of options. She rocks back and forth ever so slightly as she sits at the kitchen table in her one-bedroom apartment at Father Bach Haven Home, her face bathed in the soft glow of an antique...Read more
How to restyle upholstered furnitureWashington Post, May 13th
Two options are Grand Brass Lamp Parts (www.grandbrass.com) and the Antique Lamp Co. in Buffalo (www.antiquelampco.com). Depending on the size, a new reproduction shade might cost $100 to $200. If that price range is too dear, check out the ...Read more
Tarentum couple turn home into renovation successPittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8th
He also added a new tin ceiling that pairs perfectly with the vintage lamp that works on a pulley system and came from an antique store in Leechburg. Mr. Bonner's woodworking skills shine in the butcher-block center island, which he crafted from walnut...Read more
At Home With Noa Santos, Co-Founder of HomepolishNew York Observer, April 29th
Mr. Santos hails from the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, but calls New York City home. He shares the modern space with his longtime boyfriend. Their home features Japanese-inspired copper chairs from Blue Dot and a cute, vintage lamp with a velvet shade ...Read more