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Table Lamps

Gently Used, Vintage, and Antique Table Lamps

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TABLE LAMPS

Lighting can make or break a room’s aesthetic. If you are an ace hostess you know that intimacy can be created in a large group by manipulating the room’s light and that low lighting can herald a disaster in the dining room. While everyone would like candles to be lit magically on cue for the perfect moment, it’s time to accept that’s not gonna happen. All hope is not lost because we do live in a time of modern day magic—technology. There is no need to hack through the roof or cut back on the entertaining if your home doesn’t have the perfect lighting. The right lamp can recreate any ambience you wish, whether it is low and yellow lighting (think fireside), or high and bright party lighting. From splendid spindle designs by lamp expert Stiffel to edgy, modern lines from Stilnovo, there is a wide range of aesthetics and sensibilities to choose from when you go lamp shopping.

Pick a Lamp to Match Your Needs

Is this a lamp for the hallway or the cozy reading nook? Is it for an intimate space like the family room or for the home office? Understanding the placement of the lamp and its need goes a long way toward determining what lamp you should buy.

An antique table lamp is so much more than a light source. It can double up as an accent piece too, giving your decorating game a 10 on 10. Adding a vintage table lamp to dressers or desks can be a fun and practical way to decorate. Using a beautiful spindle lamp or two (we love a good pair) can be a handy way to formalize your entryway or to give some heft to your dining room credenza. Investing in some eccentric vintage TV lamps can go a long way toward adding personality to your study or den, too.

To help you with your lamp choices, here are four different types of vintage table lamps and our favorite design from each type.

Types of Vintage Table Lamps

Jar Lamps Stately and full of elegance, the Jar Lamp is as comely as they come. The design and shape of the jar lamp is universally popular, making it one of the most recognizable lamp styles in the world. The full-figured lamp is a great choice to accent a larger piece of furniture, like a dresser or even a credenza. Though in case of huge pieces of furniture like credenzas, it’s advisable to go with a pair of vintage lamps, since the lone lamp risks looking out of place.

Our Favorite: Ginger Jar Lamps. If you have an enduring fascination with the East, this lamp is a must-buy. Modeled after the classic beauty of the blue and white Ginger Jar—this lamp’s appeal is timeless. We spy heirloom material.

Neck Lamps If you are looking for a desk lamp that will burn the metaphoric midnight oil with you, neck lamps are your next best friend. Gooseneck, swing-arm or architect lamps, these neck lamps are made to support your hard toil at the desk. Typically built with a heavy base, these lamps are made of metal (brass or stainless steel among others), which helps create a minimalistic or industrial look packed with the 1920s glamour. Given that it's full of personality, don’t be surprised if you catch yourself talking to this lamp.

Our Favorite: Gooseneck lamp. The images conjured by the name are uncanny. Much like the long neck of a goose, this vintage lamp’s most distinguishing feature is its long neck with a dome-shaped shell encased light bulb at one end and a short base on the other end. Even if you didn’t know the name of the lamp, chances are you have spotted more than a few at the local library or college dorm. A widely-copied design, the gooseneck lamp is a reliable choice for a desk. If you don’t have a desk but love the gooseneck design, we have just the thing for your reading chair: a gooseneck floor lamp.

Candlestick Lamps Probably the lamp that is closest to the long-stemmed appeal of a candle, this lamp is quite an ode to the candelabra. If you are think vintage lamps, you are probably thinking candlestick lamps. Neoclassical and Colonial-inspired, the narrow body of the lamp lends itself to a timeless design because (we have said this before and we will say it again) antique is the new chic.

Our Favorite: Spindle lamp. If you don’t quite feel like the lamp expert but want something vintage, the spindle lamp is a great choice. A regular bulb can't hold a candle to the classic design and universal appeal of this antique lamp. Traditionally a mid-sized lamp, you can play up the voluptuous form and eye-catching design of this lamp by using it as a pair. Two of these beauties on a credenza will turn up the glam quotient instantly, be it to glamorize the entryway and make the dining room fit for the Queen. We won’t blame you if your eyes linger just a bit.

Globe Lamps 20th century Victorians adapted the older design of a spherical lamp with a bronze body to create this beauty. This spherical lamp’s design is unique and striking. With a minimalistic base and a body that also works as a light diffuser, the globe lamp makes for a great mini table lamp. This is a great choice for lighting up a specific spot of a room and for diffusing ambient light as well.

Our Favorite: TV lamp. Looking for a quirky little lamp for the den or the drinks cabinet? Check out the TV lamp. It comes in eccentric forms (like a panther or a Siamese cat no less!). Originating in the 1950s, this lamp was traditionally used to watch TV by—as early TV devotees believed watching TV in the dark harmed the eyes. Unorthodox design and an interesting story? Count us in.