Gaetane Floor Lamps November 03rd, 2017 - 04:48:36
One of the best reading lamps in the world was also designed circa 1920. It has been highly imitated but it still remains unchallenged. The Bridge Arm Floor Lamp or Bridge Lamp has a typical floor lamp design with metal base and upright standard which can take the form of various types 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 effect of offsetting the light by about 14-18" from the upright standard at the same time lowering it so that it is closer to the reading material or work project. The result is an excellent reading lamp or work lamp which places the light bulb very near the task at hand. Many of these Bridge Arm Floor Lamps have convenient pull chains which hang below the bottom of the lamp shade for ease of operation.
More and more people are learning to appreciate the quality and styling of antique floor lamps especially as most of the ones being produced today are molded plastic and literally made to be thrown away. Most all floor lamp makers from the turn of the century made their lamps from heavy metals such as cast iron, brass, steel and cast zinc sometimes combined with marble, onyx, glass and stone. Our lamp shop regularly restores these antique floor lamps for resale as well as for our customers own use. From our 30 years of experience it is clear that many of these antique floor lamps will last for hundreds of years. The electrical components, the fabric shades and the painted finishes often need restoration but most were made with such fine quality, that they are a much better value than brand new high end lamps that sell for many hundreds of dollars. You will find some other surprises about these collectible works of art below.
However, genuine antique floor lamps are very hard to find, and are therefore very costly. In fact, in some auctions, French antique lamps could sell for up to a thousand dollars and more. That is why today manufacturers seek to mimic the antique look by making use of gilded bases, ornate cloths, and stained-glass lampshades. The color or hue of finish is also imitated to reflect the antique look.
First let us define antique floor lamp. Of course a floor lamp normally rests upon the floor as opposed to resting upon a table, the wall or the ceiling. The general 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 is defined as a long indefinite time period which also works out perfectly for 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 "about the year 1905". So I will use the term antique floor lamp on this basis and often substitute it with the term vintage floor lamp. This discussion does not address modern reproductions of antique lamps which is another subject to itself.