Often I am contacted by readers who have consulted one of my lighting books or readers of this blog to identify a lamp, or as the case may be, several lamps. The main concern is, “Do I own something valuable?”
Every time someone comes to me with an old beat-up lamp I can’t help but think of the story Aladdin and the slippery merchant crying out “old lamps for new lamps” in a successful effort to take possession of the old, magical, and thus very valuable lamp with the genie inside.
The lamps I am posting up on my blog today, do not contain any genies. They are in a somewhat shabby condition. The most attractive one (in my humble opinion) I have posted first. Notice if you take away the brass fitting and shade, it could just be a porcelain candlestick that has been converted into a lamp, or in this case probably the lamp design was inspired by a candlestick. In my best estimation, based totally on the photograph, this looks to be a commercially made lamp from the mid 20th century with a great deal of wear. But it could look more attractive if the metal (brass or brass plate) was polished up. It could also be refurbished to hold a fabric shade for a more traditional look. As to value, probably” as is”, it in under $65.
The lighting on the photo is dark so it is hard to see, but it looks as if this is a domestic lamp influenced by oriental design and/or imported from Japan post world war II. But once again the value is relatively low– under $85.
In the right setting, this could be a desirable lamp from a decorator point of view. The age is mid 20th century but the inspiration is 18th century. There appears to be some wear on the decoration, so the value as is will most likely be under $100.
I’ve saved the ugliest lamp for last because this floor lamp looks like something one might encounter in a seedy motel room decorated in the 1960s. Yes, it is inspired by 19th century floor lamps to a slight degree but then someone came up with the not too brilliant idea of attaching a ledge around the middle of the lamp to serve as a table…. While this lamp might be something you’d find on the roadside put out for bulk trash… someone might pay $25 for this lamp at a used furniture store, particularly if the store was located in Florida or California where the definition of antiques stretches into the 20th century.
Sorry LTR (reader who emailed the photos) but your lamps are not particularly valuable from an antiques perspective, although they still have some functional value depending on where and how they are used!