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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In Progress: Another Lamp

You all know I love a good lamp? This lamp has been in my sewing room for the last 25 years, unrestored,  but serving a purpose. It sat by my industrial serger to give me light at night.  (I had forgotten how nice the bottom was. Normally, the text jumps beside the picture, but today? Oh, no! So, a skinny picture follows. And it won't center!)

I took it outside to remove heavy sewing lint from the bottom and  a few spider eggs.

Since there was no great rush, no desire to decorate a utilitarian sewing room, this remained as a very useful lamp.
lighted base

All but one of my floor lamps has a lighted base. There is a foot button that I did not show. The base of these lamps have a little socket for a night light bulb. When this is on, it is like a night light. It adds great ambiance to a room. Usually when I entertain, the base lights holding night lights are on and a 7.5 watt bulb is in the top of all my lamps in the living room. People are quite charmed by the base lights.

Underneath, you can see that someone has removed the light socket. Why? To the far left and bottom, there is the connection to the button that turns on the base light. The lamp shop where I take lamps to be restored, they have parts to replace the missing light.

ugly, cheap, and modern

I have no idea why someone would remove the three-armed top and replace it with this ugly, cheap, shiny part. But, that will have to be replaced! I can pick up a lamp that is has the part I need, maybe the base light, also. However, right now I have no money for this type fun or any inclination to restore/repair this lamp.

base light button

Blogger's picture program just decided to put this picture down here! I realized I had not taken a picture of the button on the base, so I took a picture of it after I had brought it in, sitting on paper in case there was dirt on the little feet. You can also see the base light area better. Also, that is not stain on the glass-looking part. It is supposed to be that way. The base is not as ornate as some I have seen, but it is mine.

I imagine that someone took off the missing original parts because of a short in either, or because the parts were needed for another lamp.

My friend was selling several full-sized pickup loads of lamp parts. I was stunned when I saw the carnage. His uncle loved lamps and bought them, disassembling them and throwing like parts into stacks. Everything was old and ornate, no junky lamps. It was anyone's guess which parts made an original lamp. We estimated there were probably 500+ lamps worth $7000 dollars if they were  assembled but untouched, just assembled. Restored, the lamps would be worth $95K. Completely disassembled=bother to sell. I don't know what he ever did with all the leftover parts he could not sell. All the lamps were ornate and very old. That much we could tell by looking at the individual elements.

My lamp cost me $5 or less. I am sure I grumbled about the new electrical element at the top. It will cost around $200 to have it restored/repaired.

I had a thought! Surprising, huh? I may take my lamp that resides in an antique shop on consignment and another antique lamp and this one to the shop that only restores lamps and sells lamp parts. Maybe I can trade enough to get this lamp repaired/restored for free. Yay me for

Repeat: I am not planning on having anything done to this lamp. Not only do I NOT HAVE MONEY to do so, this is not the right time in my life to do this.

Your turn
Does anyone love antiques? Antique lamps? Can you restore these yourself? Do the electrical work? Maybe your husband is handy? Or, is this all boring work and you prefer newer lamps?
Does anyone have a lamp with the base light? Where are the lamp lovers? 


  1. Love the bottom of the lamp. There's a huge city antique fair where I live once a month. I love to go peruse, but some of the cooler items are a bit pricey. It's a great place to shop for photo props.

  2. Thanks,
    You should see these lamps when the base light is lit. There are no antique fairs here, but I do browse antique shops when I can. I took some of my children's furniture to a photo studio to sell for photo props. I hope you find lots of props for cheap!

  3. Bottom lamps can be huge fire hazards. If items (like clothes) get tossed on top of them, the heat has no place to go. I have seen there close cousins (recessed floor lights) catch boxes on fire.

    Granted a night light doesn't generate a lot of heat, but it is how concentrated the heat is, rather than the absolute amount that is important.

    1. Russell,
      I treat the base light like Christmas trees--if I am not in the room, they are off. Mine are all sitting on carpet, so I make sure the light is not near the carpet. The base lights are not usually on. In this particular lamp, you can see how the base has a hole for the light to be inserted. The others don't have that feature, so the light could actually touch carpet if the carpet were high, which it is not. I am super-vigilant!

    2. LOL - sorry, I wasn't try to say you should get rid of them. Just noting that caution was in order - and obviously you are being cautious.

    3. No problem. I did not take it that way at all. I saw my house burn to the ground when I was four, so fire is always at the forefront of my mind, ALWAYS. I gave my daughter a turtle that had a light in it and warned her not to turn it on and leave it because of the fire hazard on carpet. I am always warning people about fire hazards...just a little neurotic about it.

  4. I love this lamp (minus the shiney top)! You sew too? What did you make?

  5. There is not much I have not made--wedding dresses, bras, panties, tailored clothing, Cabbage Patch clothes to sell, Barbie clothes, all my clothes at one time, clothing for my son until he was about three, clothing for both of my daughters even when they were in hs and adults, curtains, sofa pillows, upholstery, tshirts, lingerie, nightgowns.

    I have completely hand-sewn dresses, baby dresses, Christening gown, Valentines--handsewn-as with a needle and thread.

    I made handsewn lampshades for lamps and sold to antique shops.I am sure I am leaving things

    That shiny top was not such an eyesore on my utilitaria sewing room that also contains a Butterick Pattern cabinet and the

    1. You sound fun, frugal and creative.

    2. Sue,
      Thank you. I think so, too. LOL


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