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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Graduate students study area antiquesNatchez Democrat, July 24th
Lea Layne looks at an antique lamp for the serial numbers at Stanton Hall Wednesday. Layne along with other summer fellow Katie McKinney and Project director and Research Curator Caryne Eskridge are cataloging the inside of the house as a part of the ...Read more
Police lights by nightColumbia Daily Herald, July 9th
Six Lortab pills were reported missing with no value given. An incident of theft and burglary was reported in the 8700 block of West Sheepneck Road in Mt. Pleasant. An antique lamp table was reported missing with a value of $800. Columbia Fire Department...Read more
Decor: Collector or a hoarder?The News-Press, July 4th
Or clothes in your closet that you will never be able to wear again. Or organization systems that you have never used. Say goodbye and make them go away. • Furniture or accessories that bring up bad memories. Aunt Sadie's antique lamp that you disliked...Read more
Why you want a mover instead of doing it yourselfinsideTORONTO.com, July 1st
It's not hard to injure your back during a move, putting you out of commission for weeks. While your friends might be generous, great people, they are likely not experienced movers. What happens when they drop your antique lamp or one of a kind figurine?...Read more
Popular home decor style - a blend of old and newChicago Tribune, June 29th
An antique lamp, an old trunk that becomes a side table or a church pew in an entryway can all be attention-getting additions. On the flipside, if your home features traditional wooden floors that have aged beautifully, let the floor take center stage...Read more
Aladdin Antique Lamps To Light IndianapolisNews-Antique.com (press release), June 27th
The Antique Lamp Show & Sale opens to registered members on Friday 12pm – 3pm and to the public 3pm - 6pm and Saturday 8am – 3pm. Spectacular, rare, and beautiful are words that describe this unique and unusual show featuring antique lighting...Read more