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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October 2014 Issue Product GuideHouse Beautiful (blog), September 16th
Mirror, antique. Lamp on chest, throw on sofa, vintage. Floor lamp—Mecox; mecox.com. Sconce, Gloria—Paul Ferrante (T);paulferrante.com. Kitchen: Wall, cabinet, trim, and ceiling color, Ivory White—Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com. Fabric on Roman ...Read more
BEAM: Survival of the sleepiestEvening News and Tribune, September 16th
Six pairs of shoeless feet bounced around our spare bedroom. Up to no good, one could only assume. Two were assuming this Sunday morning. My husband Tim and I woke up to the lively sounds, the continuation of our 8-year-old daughter's first slumber ...Read more
Art and antiques stolen in Bruern burglaryOxford Mail, September 14th
A PAINTING and an antique lamp were stolen by burglars who forced their way inside a hamlet home through a patio door. A bedside table and a framed sketch were also taken in burglary in Bruern near Milton-under-Wychwood between 11pm on Thursday ...Read more
'Antiques On-The-Go Show' appraisal event starts Sept. 26YourWestValley.com, September 10th
Or maybe you're remodeling and want to see if there will be a demand for the vintage lamp you've had for years? EJ's Auction & Consignment in Glendale is launching a new series of free “Antiques On-The-Go Show” appraisal events taking place every other ...Read more
Taylor Swift Is a Disturbingly Proficient HostessNew York Magazine, September 8th
Heading back downstairs, she passes an antique lamp with the inscription CALADIUM SEGUINUM on it. Swift took Latin in high school, but says she isn't sure what it means. (Later, I look it up. It turns out it's a homeopathic remedy for male impotence.)...Read more
Mr. Smith's Auctions Off Most of Its StuffWashington City Paper (blog), September 8th
If you want a piece of Mr. Smith's, now's your chance to snag an antique lamp or stained glass window. The Georgetown restaurant closed its M Street NW location after nearly 50 years at the end of last month and has already relocated to a new space...Read more
Garden party potluck event raising funds for A.C. groupPress of Atlantic City, August 26th
For the past two weeks three items - a Chinese vase, an antique lamp and a table lamp - have been advertised in the window of Hart's thrift shop as part of the ACBA's fundraiser auction. Bids will remain open until the day of the garden party when the...Read more
Finding bulb for vintage lamp can be a challengeCharlotte Observer, August 21st
tool goes here. Finding bulb for vintage lamp can be a challenge. Posted: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Modified: Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Q: I'm looking for a bulb for an old Tensor 7200 desk lamp. A: Some owners recommend the No. 93 bulb from EiKO Global...Read more