Friday, January 2, 2009

Daryle Lambert: Antique Lamps can Light Up your World



Thanks to www.hrm.org for this beautiful Rookwood Lamp



Several years ago I learned a very valuable lesson and I would like to share it with you. When you are out hunting for treasure let your eyes tell you when what they are seeing should have further investigation. What do I mean by that? Let me share with you something that happened to me.

I was visiting one of my regular haunts, where I never know what I will find, when all of a sudden I spotted this very unusual lamp. It was a very large piece and the base looked to be Art Glass. Upon further inspection, to my surprise I saw that it was pottery and even signed. I am sure that you are already ahead of me, but yes, it was a large vase that had been drilled to make a lamp. Outside of some of my paintings, I believe this piece might be the most expensive item that I have in my collection. It is French and by a very well known artist. I approached the owner and asked the price and his answer was $300. Without hesitating I said “Sold, but with one condition”. He asked what that condition was and I said ”You will have to disassemble the vase from the lamp and then keep the lamp.” We both had a big laugh and he began to separate the vase from the lamp. I feel certain that the vase is worth several thousand dollars.

Another time I was at a house sale and spotted a beautiful lamp where the center piece was a scenic pottery vase. I thought that it might be a Rookwood piece but couldn't be sure until I asked if I could separate the vase from the lamp. Sure enough it was Rookwood and very under-priced, I thought. I had to return home to be sure of my opinion and, believe me, when I found a similar piece in my books, I rushed back to the sale holding my breath. I soon added it to my other purchases and this completed another profitable day where my bank account expanded by a few thousand dollars.

I am sure you’re asking “ So what should I do?” When you are in the field, be sure to eye every lamp that you see. These lamps can be glass--possibly Lalique or Waterford, pottery--Rookwood, Grueby, Newcomb, Cowan, Weller, Roseville or many others, porcelain—Doulton or Rosenthal or even metal--Roycroft, Kalo or others. Unless you examine these pieces it might not be apparent who made the lamp. You might have to disassemble the lamp (be sure to ask permission) but that could prove to be time well spent.

Lamps might just light up your life.


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