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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Add character to your bedroomTheChronicleHerald.ca, September 25th
A black vintage lamp on the side of the room coordinates with the black accents in the wallpaper. Bedside tables. To create a more eclectic look, use a unique bedside table or two different styles on either side of the bed. This works best when you...Read more
Man guilty, stole thousands in coinsLeader-Telegram, September 24th
A woman called police April 20 because credit cards, money, an antique lamp, and goblets and coins valued at $16,000 were missing from her Eau Claire residence. The woman suspected Ashbacher, a neighbor she had hired to do yardwork and chores ...Read more
Event listings for Sept. 18-24Cape Cod Times (subscription), September 16th
Truro Treasures 2015: Truro's Bounties: Friday through Sunday, throughout Truro. Antique car show, arts and crafts fair, flea market, golf tournament, grape stomp, more. Kick-off event, 3 to 4 p.m. Friday, Highland House Museum. Full schedule: ...Read more
The Budget-Minded Traveler: Cheap Shopping in ParisAbout - News & Issues, September 10th
Parisians know that finding the perfect pair of slacks from a discount designer shop or antique lamp from a flea market is tout un art-- a genuine art. Particularly if you're visiting Paris on a limited and strict budget, make sure to bookmark this...Read more
Lampshades a passionVernon Morning Star, September 6th
Margaret Dowling has been lighting houses for nearly three decades with her Unique Antique Lamp Shades and Bases company. “I like to look inside the homes the lamp shades are going into and get a feel for the style, colour and how they will fit in...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