Common Types of Antique Lamps

Which would you rather own—a slag glass lamp or a parlor lamp?

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antique lamps

Antique table lamps add a cozy ambiance to your home. However, did you know which styles are the most common? This list is not exhaustive, but it highlights some popular types that will add instant character to your home. Most of these lamps were manufactured during the Victorian era between the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Bankers Lamp

Athena Lam / Unsplash

Bankers lamps were initially made for banks, but they eventually became staples in home offices. The first bankers lamp patent was filed in 1909 by American Harrison D. McFaddin.

Double Student Lamp

The student lamp became popular in the late 19th century, and they were made with single or double shades. This lamp style was originally known as a reading lamp, and many were converted from electric to oil after the turn of the century.

Slag Glass Lamp

Slag glass is a type of marble-like glass used in Tiffany-style lamps from the late 19th century. Companies made simpler, more affordable lamps with larger panels of slag glass in a single color. Many of these lamps were Art Nouveau inspired and illuminated rooms with warm accent light.

Gone With the Wind Parlor Lamp

This style lamp was originally known as a parlor lamp and acquired a new name based on the 1939 movie, “Gone with the Wind.” Several companies manufactured these lamps in the late 19th and early 20th century. After the movie was released, the lamps regained popularity in the 1940s.

Glass Kerosene Oil Lamp

Oil lamps have been around for hundreds of years, but early portable kerosene oil lamps date back to the mid 19th century. The lamps burned kerosene on a single wick, and a glass hurricane shade protected the flame. More importantly, the light produced by clear kerosene was much brighter than the flames from earlier oil lamps.

Tiffany Lamps

Tiffany Lamp with Peacocks Feathers, c. 1902, via Cleveland Museum of Art

Tiffany lamps are renowned for their intricate stained glass designs and have become iconic in the world of antique lighting. Originating in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these lamps were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his design studio. The lamps are best known for their nature-inspired motifs, such as dragonflies, peacocks, and floral patterns. Authentic Tiffany lamps are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices at auctions.

Boudoir Lamps

These petite antique lamps originated in the late 19th century. Smaller than typical table lamps, boudoir lamps were meant for bedrooms, specifically on dressing tables. They often had delicate, feminine designs and were made from materials like porcelain, glass, and silk.

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