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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Lampworks

The Lampworks

Lamp collector and dealer Dan Edminster has put together an incredible reference site on antique lamps and related … [read review or visit site]

Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company

Texans Incorporated: The History of a Lamp Company

Mark Stevens has created an impressive living memorial to Texans Inc., a 20th century Texas manufacturer of ceramic… [read review or visit site]

The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin

The Lamps of H. G. McFaddin

Bruce Bleier's tribute to the Emeralite and Bellova lampshades made from Czech glass and popularized and distribute… [read review or visit site]

Fairy Lamp Club

Fairy Lamp Club

This incredible site is a stunning showcase for Victorian and contemporary fairy lamps, a style of lamp with a glas… [read review or visit site]

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Gas Pressure Lanterns, Lamps and Stoves

Terry Marsh’s beautiful showcase of gas-pressure lanterns, lamps, stoves, irons, and heaters from the 1920s o… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Antique Miniature Pairpoint Glass Boudoir Lamp Signed Pansy Puffy ShadeAnique Signed Handel Slag Stained Glass Table Lamp Art Nouveau Lct Tiffany Era!Lovely Antique Old Handel Table Lamp With Painted Glass Shade Artist SignedHandel Pine Tree Table Lamp. Mission, Arts And Crafts. No Reserve Handel. Mission, Arts And Crafts,lamp No ReserveAntique C.1930 Frankart Art Deco Nude Figural Pin-up Girl Lamp L271 Rare Form NrGenuine Art Deco Diana Chrome Lady Lamp C1930 Glass Ball ShadeHandel Fish Scale Diamond Desk Lamp, No Reserve Arts And Crafts Mission Remarkable Jeweled Art Deco Erotic Fortune Teller Figural Novelty Lamp Dated '26Beautiful C. 1900 Bradley & Hubbard Bent Panel Slag Glass Lamp SignedBradley Hubbard Arts Crafts Mission Slag Glass Handel Era Antique Lamp NrHandel Lamp Base, Leaded,slag,painted Shade,arts CraftsBradley Hubbard Slag Glass Arts Crafts Handel Era Antique Panel Lamp NrVintage Art Deco Amber Glass Slip Shade Ceiling Light Lamp FixtureHandel Arts Crafts Slag Glass Leaded Bradley Hubbard Era Hanging Shade Lamp NrFase Madrid 520 C Mustard Vintage Desk Light Lamp Mid Century Bauhaus Jacobsen15.74'' Width Vintage Antique French Style Crystal Chandelier Lighting Old LampFine Rare Antique Chinese Qing Dynasty Carved Rock Crystal Covered Vase LampAntique Working Miniature Kerosene Student Lamp W/ Orig Chimney, No Reserve!Vintage Industrial Pendant Lamp / Ceiling Light - Stainless Steel And Glass E27(2) Antique Art Deco Era French Pressed Glass Nude Lady Figural Boudoir LampsGubi Grasshopper Floor Lamp Charcoal Lighting Modern Dwr Design Within ReachJielde French Industrial 2 Arms Table Floor Desk Reading Lamp Graphite PolishedVintage Industrial Light-aluminium Dome Pendant Lamp-glass Lens- Factory Style A Superb Vintage Retro Light ,australian Barsony Man & Guitar Table Lamp AshtrayTiffany Studios L.c.t. Art Glass Damascene Favrile Handel Era Lamp Shade NrSlag Glass Lamp-art Glass-bradley & Hubbard Miller Handel Arts Crafts Era LampFrench Art Deco Modernist Chrome Table Lamp C1930'sPair Table Lamps Brass Willy Rizzo Guy Lefevre Maison Jansen Mid Century LightUnique Arts Crafts Mission Leaded Slag Glass Handel Bradley Hubbard Era Lamp NrVintage Herbert Terry 1227 Anglepoise Lamp Desk Office Light Art Deco Lighting Vaseline Opalescent Duplex Oil Lamp Shade By Powell ? Benson Arts & CraftsTiffany Studios Art Glass Damascene Favrile Handel Era Three Light Lily Lamp NrModel T Ford Black And Brass Cowl Lamps Side Lights E&j 1913 19141922 Maxfield Parrish Edison Mazda Lamps Advertising Calendar Egypt Framed Rare Stunning Antique French Style Lead Crystal Droplets Chandelier Lighting Old LampBradley & Hubbard Reverse Painted Slag Lamp-handel Tiffany Arts & Crafts Era Vintage Bicycle Jos Lucas Ld Silver King Of The Road Front Oil LampIncredible And All Original Pittsburgh Slag Glass Lamp W/ Green ShadeAladdin Oil Lamp Short Lincoln Drape 1939 Alacite B-60 Mod B BurnerRare Hammered Pewter Arts & Crafts Ceiling Light Lamp With Five Ruskin CabochonsAntique Miller Reverse Painted Slag Lamp Nr Handel Tiffany Pairpoint Arts CraftGorgeous C. 1910 Handel "cherry Blossoms" Leaded Glass Lamp 18"Superb Low Ceiling Antique French Style Crystal Chandelier Lighting Old LampBritish Strand Vintage Theatre Light Antique Art Deco Lamp Cinema Alessi EamesNice Aladdin Bakelite Family Kerosene Lamp, Clean With Working Model B Burner.Original 1950s Tretchikoff Oriental Lady Lamp, Either Standing Or For WallArt Nouveau Art Deco Bronzed Spelter Lady LampVintage Industrial Light / Lamp - Explosion Proof Glass Dome Pendant - Small19thc Victorian Era Brass Hanging Oil Lamp W Birds + Pink-white Hobnail Shade Large Art Deco Nude Lady Lamp Lampe Cast Cold Painted Spelter On Marble BaseAladdin Green Moonstone Jadeite Model B Oil Lamp Font Bracket Or Hanging LampRemarkable C. 1920 Art Deco Frankart Lamp With Green Shade And Nudes SignedExceptional Pair Of English Gilt Bronze Rhyton Colza Oil Lamps W ShadesVintage Industrial Light / Lamp - Explosion Proof Ceiling Pendant Iron Shade E27Antique B&h Hanging Parlor Lamp, Rare Giant Amber Hobnail Shade, 14 InchLondon Table Lamp Black Original Btc Dwr Design Within Reach Modern LightingCobra Table Lamp Greta Grossman Gubi Dwr Design Within Reach Modern Lighting Frankart L233 Art Deco 2 Nudes Lamp With Skyscraper Shade All OriginalAntique Miniature Oil Lamp, Amber Log Cabin W/handle

Recent News: Lamps

Source: Google News

6 Alternatives to Buying and Selling on Craigslist
U.S. News & World Report, April 14th

If your gut tells you something is amiss, place your safety above that antique lamp or designer handbag. With that said, here's a look at several Craigslist alternatives. 1. Available in the New York tri-state area with plans to expand...Read more

Bespoke is the New Black
The Indian Express, April 11th

An antique lamp focuses on signature pieces. With prices that start at Rs 2,500, this is an effort at providing bespoke services at Zara rates. “The idea was to offer people the opportunity to custom-design their own shirts, that are made with utmost...Read more

Out and About in Lebanon: Try an oldies' dance, spring tea or see stars ...
FlipSidePA, April 9th

9 A.M. SATURDAY, APRIL 18 >> If you've ever wondered what that antique lamp stationed in one corner of your living room is worth, now might be the time to find out. Historic Schaefferstown Inc. will be inviting antique appraiser Terry Breidenstine to...Read more

Blount County thefts for Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The Daily Times, April 7th

Stolen were a double bed, dresser, chest of drawers, mattress and box springs, antique lamp and wooden tables, double bed, dressing table, chest, golf club set, Craftsman tool chest and tools, riding lawn mower, push mower, leaf blower, diamond wedding ...Read more

tiago patrício rodrigues redesigns art nouveau era interior
Designboom, April 7th

the kitchen is characterized by an original, yellow lioz stone glass mosaic chimney, and work counters of azulino cascais stone. a 40s vintage lamp carries on the room's yellow vibe. on the bench, is a fruit bowl by fernando brízio. the apartment makes...Read more

Villagers vow to save St John's Point lighthouse lamp after plans to replace ...
Belfast Telegraph, April 6th

A six-ton antique lamp has shone from the lighthouse at St John's Point in Killough for 176 years. It has brought fishermen to the shore, once guided the Titanic, and found fame in a Van Morrison song. But officials claim the lamp, which rotates in...Read more

Keiran O'Nightley, off-season queen: a short story by Rupert Everett
The 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 sale
Austin 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