Antiques Column: Bring light in with the beloved lamp
The spot lights in our bathroom have been failing at an alarming rate lately and this has resulted in a visit to a well know DIY store.
After being assured by an assistant that the new bulb I chose would ‘probably’ fit (a stance confirmed by his superior), I hurried home with enough bulbs to bring light into our darkness.
I replaced the missing bulb, which fitted, but emitted a curious yellow glow in contrast to the three working white bulbs.
Undeterred by this setback I battled on. The next failed bulb proved more difficult to extract and I broke the fitting, which now hangs in darkness some inches from the ceiling.
I also broke the third fitting, but managed to change the bulb, so that hangs fully lit roughly the same distance from the ceiling. Unfortunately I was not allowed to continue.
This whole sorry tale reinforces the beauty of the table lamp and the uncomplicated ease with which a bulb can be replaced. In the late 1870s Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan both produced their own versions of the light bulb and by the turn of the century the electric table lamp was an item.
The beauty of the table lamp is in the shade and classic designers like Tiffany, Lalique and Gallé all produced some wonderful Art Nouveau and Art Deco lamp shades.
A table lamp can transform the ambience of a room and a shade from these and other talented designers styled with overlay or leaded glass or incorporating differing reflective techniques can transform it even more.