Light is important. It's always been a focal point in homes for families throughout history. Light has gone from a simple fire to torches, and then to kerosene oil lamps. So many antique lamps were designed for aesthetics and durability, which is why people collect them to this day. But there are a lot of different types of antique lamps as well as modern replicas that are antique-styled. When looking for an authentic antique lamp, there are several things you should keep in mind. Most early antique oil lamps were more functional than decorative and sometimes wasted oil.
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Between the first and second centuries AD, Italian lamps became the dominant style in the Roman world. Stone and clay were not the only materials used to make lamps.
While stone and clay lamps continued to be produced, glass lamps appeared during the fourth century AD.
Dating oil lamps Kerosene oil lamp with an antique oil pumps, models, helps date of lamps, and carved stone vessels Based in the jerusalem post reports: furniture and. Small oil lamps designed and glass lampshades and. Aladdin brand of antiques and one are characterized by the burner, handmade oil lamps provide the centuries. The best way to get an exact date of manufacture is by having an appraiser view the lamp. You can also educate yourself on oil lamps that resemble yours to better understand the antique lamp market and the changing styles of lamps throughout time. Iron and brass are also popular metals used in Victorian oil lamps. If you prefer more of a rugged oil lamp, an antique railroad oil lamp is an option to consider. These lamps are historical since workers used them on the railroads to direct trains and communicate. These oil lamps feature reflectors.
However, they do not frequently appear in the archaeological record, probably due to the ease with which glass breaks, and there are no examples in the MPM collection. Advancements in metalworking technology, or metallurgy, allowed for the development of metal lamps, which were popular during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods.
Lamps were used by ancient people in a variety of ways, both indoors and outdoors. They served utilitarian, ritualistic, and symbolic purposes. Business owners, such as innkeepers and barkeepers, used oil lamps to light their businesses as well as the streets nearby.
Apr 27, Oil Lamps in the s. By the s, the use of electricity and incandescent light bulbs began to spread, but some oil lamps were still being used. One of the most popular oil lamps in the s was the Aladdin mantle lamp. This style of lamp can wall-mounted or used as an oil pot lamp that's meant to be portable.
Noblemen used lamps to light their paths when they or their guests were out after dark. Soldiers used them to light forts and military encampments.
Fishermen are believed to have used lamps on their boats when going on nighttime fishing excursions, and when out to sea, galleys likely had oil lamps hanging at the stern to indicate their positions to one another. In the entertainment sector, lamps were used to light venues for after-dark sporting events such as gladiator shows.
In religious contexts, oil lamps served the simple utilitarian function of lighting temples and shrines, and they served a number of ritualistic functions, as well. Many of the religious practices in ancient Rome involved some form of ritual sacrifice or offering.
Because light was considered a blessing, oil lamps were frequently dedicated at temples and shrines as votive offerings. They were also a common component in burial practices, and lamps were often buried with the dead in order to light the way into the afterlife and beyond.
How to Identify an Antique Oil Lamp
In some cases, oil lamps served as a status symbol. Wealthy families used and displayed lamps made of metal, a higher quality material, lamps with intricate or exotic imagery, and lamps with multiple nozzles which burned more fuel, making the lamp more costly.
Double nozzle metal lamp. Roman era oil lamps were made of a variety of materials including stone, clay, shell, glass, and metal. Stone Stone lamps were usually carved; however, early stone lamps were simply stones with natural depressions. Clay Clay lamps were manufactured using a number of methods.
Gas lights were also introduced in this century. By the mids, oil lamps began to be made from thick, clear glass. Some of the glass would be colored to provide an artistic element to homes. The most common hues were emerald green, amber, blue and cranberry red. However, from the s to the s, oil lamps began to have figural stems.
How to Collect Oil Lamps : Pricing for Antique Oil Lamps: Part 1
So instead of the bases and stems that were made from the same glass as the rest of the lamp, there were small cast iron statues of classical busts, historical figures and even animals to hold on to when picking up the lamps. Parlor lamps with brightly painted matching glass shades and bases were also popular in the late s.
These kerosene lamps had brass fixtures that held the shade and base together, and were easier to fill than earlier models. By the s, the use of electricity and incandescent light bulbs began to spread, but some oil lamps were still being used.
One of the most popular oil lamps in the s was the Aladdin mantle lamp. This style of lamp can wall-mounted or used as an oil pot lamp that's meant to be portable.
Dating oil lamps
The Aladdin mantle lamp was made from brass and steel, and came in a variety of styles that customers could choose from.
They didn't have an uncovered wick like some earlier lamps. Instead, the Aladdin mantle lamp had metal burners for the oil flame.
The burner had a lot of little holes on it to give the flame oxygen. The lamp also had a "medallion" with the Aladdin company name on it.
Antique-styled oil lamps are sold on the market all the time. They have the charm of an antique lamp and sometimes work similarly, but they are definitely not the same. Antique-styled oil lamps made today are decorative and not as sturdy as real antique oil lamps.
You can also educate yourself on oil lamps that resemble yours to better understand the antique lamp market and the changing styles of lamps throughout time. Inspect your antique oil lamp from all sides, looking for special markings, signatures or other clues to the lamp's age and manufacturer.
These may include stamps, insignia or a manufacturers' name near the wick winder button. Note any dings, scratches or other markings. Use a magnifying glass to get a closer look.
Photograph your oil lamp in natural light. Take care not to get a glare; you want to show as much detail as possible in the photo. Get pictures of the lamp from all angles. Research lamp appraisers near you using the American Society of Appraisers website. If there are no appraisers near you, find lamp appraisers who can offer an appraisal from photographs only.