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November 08, 2017
If you love lamps, and our guess is you do (you’re reading this, aren’t you?), you are going to love going through these 7 books on antique and vintage lamps. Some of these, we’ve had in our library for a long time now and have been a constant source of inspiration and knowledge for our lamp making passion. We’re thrilled to be able to include Kiri’s own eBook on this extensive list of useful resources for lamp makers and lamp fans. Kiri Masters, our founder, wrote “Old Lamps, New Life” as a comprehensive DIY guide on repurposing and rewiring vintage lamps to help fellow lamp lovers with the know-how to make their own custom lighting projects.With this DIY guide, you will learn how to refurbish lamps safely and correctly, what makes a good candidate for a lamp re-do, as well as how to look beyond the current state of a lamp and see its full vintage potential. You will also get access to the techniques experts use to restore the cosmetic elements of a lamp to its former glory - or give it a total makeover. The book is available on Kindle, right here.
Our passion for lamps resulted in new skills, but mainly, in an extensive library. We’re sharing some of those titles and some of the titles we wish we had in a new blog series. This list is by no means exhaustive and we’d love to hear what are some of your favorite books on lamps. Leave yours in a comment below or write us a message on Instagram or Facebook.
If with modern day lampshades, the techniques are basic and the supplies are widely available, not the same can be said of antique and vintage lamps. Kiri goes through some basic tutorials on upcycling brass, glass and even wood lamps in her "Old Lamps, New Life" eBook, but if you're planning to restore a lamp yourself, you should definitely check the following books to get a heavy dose of inspiration and a lot of knowledge.
by Nadja Maryl (Author)
This book is a great place to start if you love collecting old lamps, but have no idea which is a treasure and which is a reproduction. If you’re going through thrift stores looking for original lamps, with this book you should be able to learn how and where to look for a manufacturer’s signature on an old lamp, or how to make the difference between original and reproduction.There’s also a section on identifying types of lamps and their styles restoration, as well as examples of lighting fixtures made in the US between the mid-nineteenth century and the second World War.Get it on Amazon.
by Catherine M. V. Thuro (Author)
Oil lamps are lighting fixtures coming from a completely different era. They’ve been used for a very long time as an alternative to candles right up until electric lights have become standard. If you’re passionate about history, you’re going to enjoy following their evolution. After all, oil-based lamps have been used for thousands of years.While the history of oil lamps is fascinating, this book only looks at glass kerosene lamps. More than 900 lamps to be precise, with more than 400 illustrated in color imagery. These showed up around 1850, but have been used well into the 20th century in small towns and rural areas.If you are a collector or are trying to figure out if the oil lamp that’s been passed in your family for ages has any value whatsoever, in this book you will learn about the techniques of making kerosene lamps, what kind of glass types would have been used and how to identify a lamp’s manufacturer. Get it on Amazon.
by Randy Wardell & Judy Huffman (Author), Wardell Publications (Editor)
We love stained glass lamps and while we dream of owning all the Louis Comfort Tiffany lamps ever made, it is a lot more cost-effective to make our own lampshades. This book features inspiration for 25 full-size lampshade designs for small nightstands, dining room swags, wall sconces and inverted ceiling style shades. Get it on Amazon.
by Michael Johnston (Author)
Yes, this is another book on making stained glass lampshades. Bear with us, when you’ll get to those awesome Tiffany lamps, you will see why we put these stained glass lamps book before.This book explains it step-by-step how to make a stained glass lamp inspired by the popular Tiffany designs. It does come with a couple of patterns, but what’s more important, it explains how to select a base for your shade, how to choose the right glass, how to assemble glass panels and how to repair stained glass. The author, Michael Johnston, is a stained glass expert who is also an accomplished teacher of stained glass techniques and artistry for all skill levels.Get it on Amazon.
by Luciano (Author), Stan Colson (Author), Donna Colson (Author)
Sometimes, we just looove looking at pretty lampshades. Since owning them is sometimes an expensive guilty pleasure (and to be honest, we just don’t have space anymore), we’d rather collect books on them. And this one is a collectible for sure. Published in 1976, this book on stained glass lamp art contains a lot of beautiful lamp designs to inspire your imagination and even a couple of full-size patterns that teach you step-by-step how to make your own.Get it on Amazon.
Remember when we said, please bear with us? Here’s why we listed those stained glass lamp books before. Tiffany stained glass lamps are potential treasures. The lamps designed between the 1890s to 1930s by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the Tiffany Studios are currently valued at anywhere from $4,000 to more than $1 million. In fact, and get ready for this, in 1997, one Tiffany lamp was sold at a Christie’s auction for $2.8 million. These are prices the originals are currently valued at. But if you can’t afford to buy a treasure, then a reproduction could get you there. According to collectors and experts, imitations are common pretty common, but just make sure you know the difference and won’t be paying an arm and a leg for a reproduction.However, if you just love looking at pretty lamps, these books will get you there.
by Margaret K. Hofer (Author), Rebecca Klassen (Contributor)
In this book, you will see 80 of the most popular stained glass lamps designed by Louis C. Tiffany, including custom creations and rare designs. The book shows beautiful nature details crafted in glass and metalwork which will captivate your imagination. Get it on Amazon.
by Hugh V. Archer (Author)
While many other reproductions of popular items tend not to be valued highly, not the same can be said of Tiffany lamps. There have been instances where even reproductions of Tiffany lamps have been old for a couple of thousand dollars. According to this Spruce article, in December of 2014, Morphy Auctions of Denver, Pennsylvania offered more than 19 reproduction lamps with prices that ranged from $960 to $5,400 (not including buyer's premium). So, if you’re in the lamp making business or have a knack for stained glass, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to start learning more about creating authentic reproductions. This is what this book aims to help you achieve. You get step-by-step color photos that illustrate the entire lamp-making process, from cutting the pattern and selecting glass to assemble tiles and soldering a shade to techniques and tips from an actual Tiffany lamp artist. Get it on Amazon.
Remember, this list is by no means exhaustive and we’d love to hear what are some of your favorite books on antique and vintage lamps. Leave yours in a comment below or write us a message on Instagram or Facebook. We might just include it in a future post. So don't be shy, help a fellow lamp maker.
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Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a must, the story will draw you along but it discusses so much about technique and the evolution of the tiffany lampshade. Creates more longing for artistry and love of all that is beautiful.
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