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
Source: Google News
Red tape stymies some small-town businessesTheChronicleHerald.ca, August 1st
The sale beginning today at Harris House in Annapolis Royal is the kind no business hopes to offer. After moving to the community from the West Coast in 2008, Michael Hames and his wife, Jane May, are closing their fine art and antique lamp business ...Read more
Lifecycle Service Orchestration ramps up in APACTelcoReview NZ, July 21st
It takes only a couple of mouse clicks to list a vintage lamp for sale on eBay, or to buy some shoes on Amazon.com, to set up an equities trading account at Credit Suisse. The entire process takes minutes, at most. Yet when it comes to provisioning new ...Read more
Kehoe Rodgers: Free-range parenting is really nothing newThe Times Herald, July 11th
We just passed the halfway point from Christmas past and to Christmas future – which makes this a perfect time to share something that I found while switching out photos in frames recently. Behind one of the photos was a folded piece of paper, with the ...Read more
Smithville City Manager's pet duck bids farewellAustin American-Statesman, July 8th
In October, he accidentally swallowed a 3-inch needle from an antique lamp, Tamble said. That's how he got the “one-eyed” part of his name. And why the name Houdini? Well, Sheila Tamble said he would find a way to get out of any crate they tried to...Read more
Mayor Elorza publicizes Providence sustainability push with home energy auditThe Providence Journal, July 7th
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Charlie Soum flicked a switch in a sitting room in Mayor Jorge Elorza's 140-year-old home and an overhead antique lamp lit up with brand-new energy-efficient bulbs. “That's savings right there,” Soum, a technician with Cranston...Read more
The Vintage LampHuffington Post, April 27th
Most folks in town described Anita Perkins with peculiar detail. A few could talk about Anita for up to three hours without repeating a story, many could hold an audience while three consecutive beers were consumed at Taylor's Saloon, but just about...Read more
Correct identification key to pricing vintage lampChicago Tribune, June 15th
Q: Any info on a Pairpoint reverse painted lamp given to me by an elderly aunt? It's signed by a Pairpoint decorator. My aunt told me it was very valuable and would possibly sell for six figures in New York and for half that where I live. A: The reader...Read more
Antique Lamp Stolen from ArlingtonSanta Barbara Independent, January 24th
A month after it was stolen from the Arlington Theatre's entryway, an antique glass lamp — originally installed with four matching fixtures when the theater opened in 1931 — is still missing. One of the original 1931 lamps hanging above the Arlington...Read more