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
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Lamps
Source: Google News
Keiran O'Nightley, off-season queen: a short story by Rupert EverettThe Guardian, March 28th
The big bells boom from the pointed towers, reverberating through the night as my water taxi takes me round that amazing corner under the antique lamp that swings in the breeze and twinkles on the water to the Grand Canal – shrouded in mist – one of...Read more
Bastrop Historical Society to host saleAustin American-Statesman, March 25th
Community members have donated countless items to be sold for the benefit of the Historical Museum and Visitors Center in Bastrop. More than 10,000 items from Bastrop's closets, cabinets, tabletops and garages will be on sale this weekend at the...Read more
Gnarly Trombone: How to fix a lamp in just a few EASY stepsGreeley Tribune, March 13th
So-o-o-o, I took the stupid antique lamp apart and put on the Lampshade Doohicky, and then realized that the Lampshade Doohickey extended the thing-a-ma-bob, so I had to strip some more wires, and make them fit again, and that's when the NEW ...Read more
Historic home perfect place to display the pastVictoria Advocate, March 13th
Mixed among the gallery wall are antique piano legs and more geckos, while other rooms have a repurposed antique lamp as a closet caddy and a Czechoslovakian bonnet-top armoire. In what he calls "the world's smallest dining room," he has on display his ...Read more
Thieves steal Jasper tornado victims' surviving possessionsKBTV Fox 4 Beaumont, March 13th
Detective Foster said the stolen items include a flat-screen television, along with an antique lamp and table, crystal ware, an antique mantle clock, and a large antique grandfather clock. Foster said the thief - or thieves - left behind the pendulum...Read more
Steve Dahl Won't Shut UpChicagomag.com, March 2nd
Dahl settles into an overstuffed couch in his living room, under framed portraits of family dogs from years past and the warm glow of an antique lamp, a Diet Coke in his hand. At intervals during our chat, he excuses himself to pee. “This damn...Read more
What's it worth: American rocker, German porcelain lampRichmond.com, February 28th
QUESTION: We inherited a rocking chair that once belonged to my grandmother, and recently had it redone. We think it was made in the 1930s or 1940s. We are curious about its history. — J.S.. ANSWER: I like to leave antique furniture alone, but you...Read more
Correct identification key to pricing vintage lampBangor Daily News, June 15th
SMART COLLECTOR. Correct identification key to pricing vintage lamp. Print this Print · E-mail this Email · Facebook this Share · Tweet this Tweet. The "“Buckner Ball"” from the notorious 1986 World Series brought $418,250 recently. www.ha.com...Read more