Thursday, September 25, 2014

My love of old hurricane lamps

I blame CK for this post.  He had a post about design on his blog here:

In the comments section I mentioned which time periods I liked as far as design (1920s-1930s) and I also mentioned my love of hurricane lamps.  I've been thinking lately about what I would like to post about, and the minute I thought about my lamps, I thought, that's it!

So I have no idea how old any of my lamps are, and until this post, I never bothered to research anything about them.  I didn't buy and collect them because they were worth money, I collect them because they have aesthetic value to me. I love the weight of them when I pick them up.  I love the cool feel of the glass in hand.  I love the beauty in their curving lines, and I love that they are practical as well as beautiful.  

I purchased my first oil lamp (a reproduction) in 1982.  It has a glass top and a wooden base.  I got it for the look, but I was also moving away from home for the first time and I wanted to make sure I had a source of light if I couldn't afford to use electricity, which as it turned out, was pretty prescient.  I was very poor when I first went out on my own and couldn't afford to use electricity for anything that wasn't necessary.

Later when I was living in Arkansas, I discovered Quattlebaum's junk shop.  I was like a kid in a candy store there, they had junk, but also antique oil lamps and iron beds (both of which I began collecting) and I was hooked.  I became a regular customer, haunting the aisles and the shelves every week when he brought in new products from estate sales and other places where he found these treasures.  

Now I'm a long way from Arkansas, and there are no junk shops in Maryland like you would find on every back road in Arkansas, so I have to satisfy myself with getting to the weekend flea market a few times every few months and picking up the occasional lamp, or part of a lamp.

Currently I've found myself in the possession of two very old bases (first photo on top) in which they have a base that has the brass threads for the burner on the inside of the glass neck.  Reproduction lamps and reproduction burners are made to screw into threads on the outside of the glass neck.  So I've been unable to find a burner to fit either base.  In the picture at the top, I placed a burner and chimney on top of one of the bases, but they re not secured.  

In addition to the oil/hurricane lamps, I've also started picking up lanterns, antiques and reproductions. I don't know why lamps have captured my attention so thoroughly, but I do love looking at them.  Currently I have lined all the shelves in my daughter's old room with various lamps and lanterns.  I'm actually out of room to put any more up there, so I don't know what I'll do if I find another I can't live without.  

Recently I've begun picking up old milk and medicine bottles.  I love clear glass, etched or pressed. I also collect dishes like that.  I wonder what my fascination is with old glass. Oh well, I guess I should get back to researching them.  Maybe I'll find out how old they are or find replacement burners for those two older bases.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

These are all really wonderful.....Maybe you will need to build a Bookcase in another room for all the goodies you continue to collect.
I use to collect china---sometimes just one pretty plate or bowl---sometimes a set of six salad plates---There is nothing like Beautiful Bone China.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I agree, I used to collect entire sets of dishes but I stopped due to lack of space and money.

CyberKitten said...

Blame taken.... [grin]

Actually the metal hurricane lamp reminds me of my childhood when we had an outside toilet and if we wanted to use it after dark we needed one to find our way there and back. Not my favourite experience I can tell you!

Vancouver Voyeur said...

How scary, CK! A good reminder though, that the use of these lamps were practical and not to be romanticized. :-)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Yes! This is the second season for "GETTING ON"....I LOVE that Annie is on it again, this year.....She is such a WONDERFUL Actress!
And my dear dear friend Joyce Van Patten is on the October 5th episode of "BOARDWALK EMPIRE", if you ever watch that.....It is very very good, but also extremely violent! But I do watch it---this is the last season...It will be interesting see how they wind it all up.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I do watch Boardwalk Empire! I will keep a lookout for her!