The Philosophy Of ANTIQUE FLOOR LAMPS
First let us define antique floor lamp. Needless to say a floor lamp normally rests upon the ground instead of resting upon a table, the wall or the ceiling. The overall definition of an antique means something from a bygone era. This places the term outside the legal arena and into common usage. “era” is general perceived and means a long indefinite time frame which also computes perfectly because of this general definition.
This general definition works perfectly since any identification of an “antique floor lamp” is fairly useless without some time period designation normally in the form of circa 1905 which literally means “concerning the year 1905”. So I use the word antique floor lamp on this basis and often substitute it with the word vintage floor lamp. This discussion will not address modern reproductions of antique lamps that is another subject to itself.
Increasing numbers of people are learning to appreciate the quality and styling of antique floor lights especially as most of the ones being produced today are molded plastic and literally designed to be thrown away. Most all floor lamp makers from the turn of the century made their lamps from heavy metals such as for example cast iron, brass, steel and cast zinc sometimes coupled with marble, onyx, glass and stone. Our lamp shop regularly restores these antique floor lights for resale as well as for the customers’ own use.
From our 30 years of experience it really is clear that many of the antique floor lamps can last since way back when. The electrical components, the fabric shades and the painted finishes often need restoration but most were made with such fine quality, they are a much better value than brand new top quality lamps that sell for most hundreds of dollars. You will find some other surprises about these collectible artwork below.
High quality, beauty and function were powerful influences on the makers of antique floor lights. Many people know about their outstanding quality and beauty but completely surprised about the highly developed functional and technical characteristics. You can find far too many examples to list here but I will mention a number of the more important ones.
The brightest lamp that you may purchase today in virtually any store was designed and made circa 1920. Additionally it is the most versatile lamp you could buy anywhere. Further it will outlast most any modern lamp that you may find at any price. This antique floor lamp is known by a numerous names such as for example: 6 Way Floor Lamp, Reflector Floor Lamp, and “JUNIOR”. The look begins with a heavy metal base sometimes highly decorated having an upright tubing leading up to a central electrical socket surrounded by 3 arm lights (4 lights total).
The central light takes a 3 way bulb (low-medium-high) that’s often a MOGUL size that is larger than a standard socket with higher wattage (100-200-300 watts). The three arm lights are controlled by way of a switch that can start separately just 1, 2 or all 3 of the arm lights. Further, several JUNIORS had a small light beneath the base which provided a very subtle night time floor light operated by a foot switch mounted on the medial side of the base.
As if this weren’t enough, the central top socket is encased in a big metal cup which holds a white waffle patterned glass bowl that reflects light upward to bounce of the ceiling. A fabric or silk shade (also called JUNIOR shade) rests upon the glass reflector bowl to reflect light downward for reading. An individual arm light can provide a straightforward night light or at it brightest setting, it could light up a whole room. There is no brighter lamp or more versatile lamp available anywhere today and it was designed and made nearly a century ago!
One of the better reading lamps on earth was also designed circa 1920. It has been highly imitated nonetheless it still remains unchallenged. The Bridge Arm Floor Lamp or Bridge Lamp includes a typical floor lamp design with metal base and upright standard that may take the form of various forms of decorated tubing, twisted iron rods, etc. At the top of the standard is a decorative cast metal arm with a graceful arc or curvature which ends with an electrical socket pointing downward and covered by a fabric or glass shade.
This has the result of offsetting the light by about 14-18″ from the upright standard as well lowering it so that it is closer to the reading material or work project. The effect is an excellent reading lamp or work lamp which places the light bulb very near the task accessible. Several Bridge Arm Floor Lamps have convenient pull chains which hang below underneath of the lampshade for ease of operation.