Vintage Lighting & Antique Light Fittings FAQs
How to date antique brass candlesticks?
Antique candlesticks are a universally loved item and date back thousands of years. However because they are all quite similar and look the same shiny colour when cleaned, it is not always easy to know how old they are. The overall form of brass candlestick has varied quite a bit over time from wider domed bases and larger drip trays to slender neoclassical varieties with push-up sockets and square bases. However, since it is relatively easy to copy older designs (and plenty of people have) it is important to look at the condition and construction also. Up to the end of the 18th Century most candlesticks were hammered or cast but by the 19th century were being stamped or spun in sections. These older examples tend to use thicker brass and will be held together with hand cut screw threads and hand cut squared nuts. Since these items were used on a daily basis then you would also expect a good degree of wear and knocks as well.
Is antique lighting valuable?
As a highly practical accessory antique and vintage lighting can be quite valuable mostly ranging up to a few thousand UK Pounds. There are of course two reasons people purchase lights, one of which is for their aesthetic appeal, but the other is because some of the finest industrial designers of the past 100 years also chose to design lamps. These lamps can be fun and modern or clever and timeless but because they also remain highly practical they should prove to be good longer term investments.
Do old lamps need to be rewired?
As usable items old electric lamps are naturally far more valuable when they work. Whether the lamp is ultimately PAT tested with the old wiring or rewired does not affect the overall value of the lamp, but for piece-of-mind having the item rewired is always preferable. The reason is because these old lamps internally bear wires and holders which will have aged over time sometimes more substantially than is visually noticeable. The older rubber and threads covering the wires will have dried and cracked and the fixings in the holders may have come loose. Many were also made at a time of lower voltages and without an Earth. This is one reason why it is worth purchasing such items from a specialist as on LoveAntiques who will ensure your cool looking lamp is safe to use for decades to come.
How to choose an antique lamp?
It is best to view antique and vintage lamps as mini-illuminated sculptures and they were created with the piece fully illuminated in mind. As such it is good not to cram the lamp into a small area but to give it space as you would a sculpture. Even if your room is quite conservative you can be brave when adding a lamp with bold shapes or strong colours. The trick is to keep a balance so if the body of the lamp is quite plain then you can afford to go crazy with the lamp shade, and if the lamp body is bold then pare back the shade. When out buying also consider the amount and direction of the light you want to add to your spot. Wall lights will add spots of light to the walls, uplighters will add to the overall warmth and ambience but are not great for reading, and goose neck desk lamps will add a barrage of focussed light to a very small area but leave the rest of the room dark.