Collectible Antique Oil Lamps
Antique oil lamps are popular collectibles, whether they have been converted to electricity or left in original condition. Until the 1800s candles, pitch oil lamps, and lamps that burned animal fat were the most common choices.
In the 1800s kerosene was developed and oil lamps became a profitable business. They were made from many different materials in a number of styles. Some of the materials used were ceramics, glass, metal, and porcelain.
Chimneys are an important part of the lamp. The first oil lamps had hand blown glass chimneys. These are rare today and can command higher prices than the later machine made chimneys.
Oil Lamp Shades
Another part of the lamp that sets it apart from others is the shade. Antique oil lamps had shades that could be utilitarian or decorative depending on the lamp and the purpose for the lamp. Many antique lamps have lost their shades. You can most often find them with the chimneys intact but no shade. The shades can be replaced easily with a reproduction shade. You may even be able to find an antique shade to fit the lamp on eBay.
The parlor lamps and other more expensive style of oil lamp were often hand painted and highly decorative. This hand painted plafond would have been used in an expensive parlor lamp.
Colored Glass Oil Lamps
Sometimes two or more different colors of glass were used for the base of the lamp.
Small sparking lamps like this one were used to limit the courting time of a young couple. When the light went out it meant it was time for the gentleman to leave. If a parlor lamp had been used it would have stayed lit for hours.
From parlor to kitchen, antique oil lamps are a great addition to a vintage home.